• Deciding Where to Board Your Pet

    Despite how much you love being in the company of your furry friend, every family with a four-legged member needs pet boarding services once in awhile. Although there are many options for boarding your pet while you’re away, your veterinary clinic near Dallas is often the best and safest choice. Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a home away from home for your pet.

    What Type of Animal Do You Have?
    Finding dog boarding services is relatively easy, since there are businesses dedicated to providing daycare and overnight care services to these animals. However, if you have a bird, snake, or other non-traditional pet, your options tend to be more limited. Even cat boarding is more difficult to find than dog boarding. Veterinary clinics are usually equipped to board all kinds of animals, and the staff has the necessary expertise to keep these animals safe and healthy, including experience with exotic animal care.

    What Is Your Animal’s Personality?
    Does your animal love socializing with new people and pets, or does he or she prefer to stick with a few familiar faces? How does your pet react to loud noises and large groups? Consider the environment of the animal boarding options you’re looking at and how they mesh with your pet’s personality. If, for instance, your dog hates the dog park, a large dog boarding facility that lets animals roam in packs may be too stressful. Your veterinary clinic may well provide a better mix of socialization and personal space.

    Does Your Pet Have Special Health Needs?
    The last thing you want to do when you’re out of town is worry about your pet not getting the care he or she needs. If your pet has health issues, veterinary supervised pet boarding can give you peace of mind that your animal is in safe hands.

    At the same time, we must acknowledge that there are some pets that probably should not be boarded. This group would include especially fragile animals with serious health problems such as animals in congestive heart failure, those that are prone to seizures or epilepsy, those that refuse to eat or drink properly when away from home and those that are aggressive or dangerous to other pets or humans.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is pleased to offer pet boarding services at both of our animal hospital. Trust us for all of your pet care needs, from pet grooming and dog boarding to vaccinations. Learn more about boarding and our other vet services by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620.

  • Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog

    Foods not to feed your Dog You may be tempted to feed your dog scraps from the table while you eat, or maybe you make your own dog food at home. No matter what, it’s important to remember that there are certain foods that veterinarians have determined are unhealthy or even toxic for dogs to consume. Here are a few things that you should never give your dog.

    Grapes and Raisins
    Grapes and raisins make tasty treats for people, but these same gifts from nature can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Some dogs may eat grapes and raisins without any problems in one instance, and then become seriously ill the next time they consume them. Problems seem to be somewhat unpredictable. Symptoms of toxicosis and kidney problems include vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea; as the problem worsens, the dog may become increasingly lethargic, refuse food and water, become dehydrated, and urinate more frequently and then stop urinating completely. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, bring him to an emergency veterinarian immediately.

    Raw Bread Dough and Hops
    Raw bread dough and hops are both very harmful to dogs. Raw bread dough contains live yeast, which can multiply in your dog’s stomach, causing the dough to expand. This will cause the stomach to expand as well, resulting in problems with other organs. The yeast can also produce alcohol, leading to alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include a distended abdomen, bloating, disorientation, vomiting or an attempt to vomit, and seizures. Hops can cause your dog’s body temperature to rise to dangerous levels, leading to multiple organ failure. Symptoms of hops poisoning include restless behavior, excessive panting, and seizures.

    Artificial Sweeteners
    One of the newest artificial sweeteners is a chemical called xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. Xylitol is ever more commonplace now and can be found in sugar-free chewing gums, baked goods, certain toothpastes, and children’s vitamins. Ingestion of xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar level to drop rapidly, resulting in disorientation, seizures, and liver failure.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer emergency veterinarian services in Dallas and McKinney. We have been providing comprehensive care to the pets in our community for over 20 years. Call us today at (469) 759-7620 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney / Frisco) for more information or to make an appointment.

  • The Chastain Life Guardianship Trust

    The Chastain Life Guardianship Trust was established by client contribution back in the 1990’s. It has been very helpful for many animals in need in the north Dallas area over the years. We have recently signed up with the Veterinary Care Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable umbrella group, to host our Life Guardianship Trust (LGT). This simplifies the administration and accounting issues and makes transparent reporting easier. There is a separate fund for each clinic, since they serve different communities.

    Clients – or anybody, really – may make charitable contributions directly to our fund by going to http://www.vetcarefoundation.org/donatemember.php and selecting the appropriate veterinary practice. ALSO, the Chastain Vet Med Grp will be donating 2% of each dollar spent, at each practice, by Chastain Rewards Members, to the corresponding VCF Life Guardianship Trust for each clinic.

    Monies from these VCF accounts are used to fund charitable contributions to local animal rescue groups, such as Operation Kindness in Carrolton, and to offset some of the costs of care of sick and injured strays, wildlife, homeless pets, and to help pet owners who are down on their luck, all right here in our own communities.

    The veterinary care foundation (vcf) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable foundation that was created to support local veterinary practices like ourselves in their humanitarian and community service work. 100% of every charitable dollar contributed by our members is used to directly fund the care of animals and other charitable organizations in our own community.

  • Is Your Cat Suffering from Allergies?

    You might not think of allergies when you think of common cat health problems, but in reality, cats are susceptible to the same kinds of allergies that people and dogs can develop. Cats with allergies can be extremely uncomfortable and begin to act out because of the irritation. If you think your cat could have allergies, it’s important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Chastain Vet Med Grp has offices in Dallas and McKinney / Frisco and we would happy to help. Here is a look at what cat parents need to know about allergies.

    The symptoms cats experience when they have allergies can be very similar to what humans go through. Your cat may sneeze, cough, and wheeze, or develop itchy or runny eyes. Ear infections are common, as is snoring and sniffling brought on by congestion. More commonly in cats the skin is the target organ of allergies. If the skin becomes irritated, your cat may chew his or her paws or develop swollen paws that seem sensitive. In some cases, vomiting and diarrhea can be linked to allergies. Some cats will develop numerous small scabs around the head and neck as a result of allergies. If your cat has these kinds of symptoms, set up an appointment with your veterinarian.

    Common Allergens
    Like people, cats can be allergic to pollen, plants, grass, mold, and mildew. Allergies to household cleaning products and foods are also possible. Some cats are allergic to certain types of cat litters, while other may have an allergic reaction to flea-control products, fleas themselves, or prescribed medications. Perfumes and colognes can also trigger allergy symptoms.

    Diagnosis and Treatment
    Your veterinarian will do a physical exam and possibly blood work to determine if your cat is suffering from allergies. In some cases, it may be necessary to identify the cause by trial and error, such as by changing your cat’s diet and seeing if symptoms subside. If your cat is having a skin allergy, he or she may need to see a specialist. Eliminating the allergen, when possible, is the best treatment. Antihistamines, steroids, and allergy injections may also be needed.

    Is your cat showing the symptoms of an allergy? If so, schedule a visit to Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our team of veterinarians can diagnose and treat your pet’s allergy issues. To learn more about our pet hospital, please call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620.

  • Getting to Know the Veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our dedicated veterinarians are all experienced in the field of small animal medicine, and equipped with extensive knowledge of animal behaviors, disorders, and care needs. That means that at our veterinary clinics in Dallas, and McKinney / Frisco, your pet will always have access to the high level of care he or she deserves, no matter which doctor is on call on a given day.

    Drs. Sue and Clint Chastain, who have both been practicing veterinary medicine in the area since 1992, founded our veterinary group. Dr. Lauren Bernstein has been on staff since 2013 and comes to the veterinarian practice from the east coast by way of Ireland. Dr. Julie Chabira joined the practice in 2005 and previously worked as an ICU veterinary nurse before becoming a veterinarian herself. Dr. Mari Childs has been with Chastain Veterinary Medical Group since 2014 and is well versed in the care of exotic animals. Dr. Emily Cole, a Dallas native with a wonderful bedside manner, has been practicing veterinary medicine in the community since 2005.

    Trust the experienced vets at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group with your pet’s health needs. We provide emergency care at our animal hospitals during regular business hours and we have affiliations with several of the area’s animal emergency clinics for those after-hours problems. To make an appointment, call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620. You can also make an appointment online or by means of our free mobile App available through Google Play or iTunes.

  • Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet

    One of the most valuable services your veterinarian in Dallas, McKinney, Frisco or elsewhere can provide is to spay or neuter your pet. Dog and cat neutering or spaying is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. It not only benefits your pet, but also your family as well as the community at large. This video explains more.

    Each year in the U.S., three to four million pets are euthanized because they don’t have a home, and another six to eight million are placed in animal shelters. A large part of this epidemic is due to the obvious fact that animals that have not been spayed or neutered will naturally tend to reproduce at will. In addition, dogs and cats that have not been spayed or neutered can develop disagreeable habits or aggressive behavioral tendencies.

    For more information on spaying and neutering call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620. You can also make an appointment online here, or by means of our free mobile App available through Google Play or iTunes. Our veterinarians can show you more about how spaying or neutering a dog or cat can make life better for you and your animal.

  • Tips for Housetraining Your Dog

    One of the biggest jobs new pet parents have on their hands is housetraining their dog. As your veterinarian here in Dallas, McKinney, Frisco or elsewhere can tell you, housetraining is a process , not an event, and it doesn’t happen overnight. However, with some patience and consistency, your dog will get the hang of the rules very quickly.

    Start by having a routine. It’s reassuring for your puppy to know when it’s time to eat, play, and use the bathroom. Take your dog outside regularly to use the bathroom, and always take him or her to the same spot. Use a specific word that you want to act as a signal to your dog that it’s time to use the bathroom, such as “potty,” or “let’s get busy” as he or she goes. Reward your dog with lots of attention and praise as soon as he or she eliminates. If you work outside of the home, consider hiring a dog sitter to let your pet out at regular intervals during the day.

    If you need help housetraining your dog, talk to your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. To make an appointment, call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620. You can also make an appointment online at here, or by means of our free mobile App available through Google Play or iTunes.

  • Learning Your Cat’s Body Language

    As any veterinarian in Dallas will tell you, reading a cat’s body language is much more difficult than reading a dog’s. The signals cats give off are often contextual and easy to misinterpreted, and that can lead to surprising behaviors. This video tells more.

    One common misconception that many cat owners have is that a wagging tail means that their cat is happy. In reality, cats usually wag their tails when they are anxious or keyed up. It is the dog that wags its tail when happy. When your cat exposes its stomach to you, he or she is generally not looking for a belly rub, but instead showing you deference and affection by exposing the most vulnerable part of the body.

    Your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help you learn more about cat behavior as we provide care for your pet. From cat teeth cleaning to cat neutering, our animal hospital offers a comprehensive range of services. Find out more about cats, pet grooming and animal dentistry by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620.

  • The Importance of Grooming Your Pet

    Pet grooming is about more than just keeping your pet looking his or her best. There are also important health benefits to keeping a well-groomed animal. At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we provide safe pet grooming and pet dental services in north Dallas, McKinney, and Frisco to help you keep your pet in top condition. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t fall behind on your pet’s grooming schedule.

    Improved Comfort
    Imagine having your hair pulled back tightly or tied up in knots all the time. That is probably exactly what your pet feels like when he or she has mats in the fur. Regular grooming keeps mats at bay and prevents the need for shaving your pet when mats get too out of control. Your pet groomer will work out any small tangles that do form, but you can keep things under control by brushing your pet regularly between grooming sessions.

    Less Shedding
    Shedding is the bane of many pet owners. No matter how much you love your pet, there is nothing fun about constantly sweeping up hair. When you groom your animal regularly, there will be less shedding to deal with in your house. Not only does this make your life easier in terms of your cleaning schedule, but it will also help any human allergy suffers in the household to stay more comfortable.

    Better Health
    Your pet could be suffering from health problems that may be hard to see from a distance but are easily noticed during grooming. For instance, if your animal has a tick, it can be found during the grooming process. During pet grooming, it’s also possible to find lumps, lesions, rashes, and other issues that could indicate serious health problems like cancer; regular grooming could actually be life-saving for your pet.

    For all your pet grooming needs, choose Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. At each of our pet clinics you can feel confident that your pet is in safe hands while being groomed. Our experienced vets can also provide pet dental services to keep your cat or dog’s breath fresh and teeth healthy. Find out more about our pet grooming services and animal care by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620.

  • How to Prepare for a New Puppy

    Few things are as exciting as bringing home a new puppy, but without some forethought and planning, your excitement could turn to major stress. Making a plan for your new puppy which includes a visit to your north Dallas area veterinarian will help make the adjustment period a lot easier for everyone, including your new pet. Before you go to pick up your puppy, make sure you tackle these tasks.

    Establish Guidelines
    Taking care of a new puppy is a big job. It is easy to underestimate the time commitment required. Make sure everyone in your household is fully committed to contributing to the care of your pet. Decide who will be responsible for feedings, walks, vet visits, and cleanup. You should also determine what the house rules will be for the puppy. For instance, is the puppy allowed on the furniture? Where will he or she sleep? Will you crate the puppy when you’re not at home? If you make these rules now and stick to them, your puppy will learn them faster. Consistency is super important with a puppy. Whatever rules you decide upon, all the humans who interact with the puppy should have the same set of expectations and use the same commands and key words each and every time.

    Get Your Supplies
    It’s easier to shop for your pet supplies before the puppy arrives instead of rushing to buy them under pressure. For starters, you will need a crate, food and water dishes, puppy food, a collar and leash, chew toys, and a dog bed. You may also want to pick up an odor neutralizing spray to clean up any messes. Believe me, they will happen. Before you buy food, find out what your new puppy has already been eating. It’s okay to change brands, but you need to do so gradually to avoid stomach upset.

    Prepare a Schedule
    What you teach your puppy in his or her first few days at home will stick with him or her, so have a schedule and a plan ready to implement. Decide when your puppy will eat, play, walk, have confinement time, and use the bathroom. Although toilet training won’t be learned overnight, if you stay consistent with your schedule, things should soon fall into place. The regular routine will also be comforting to your puppy. Remember that dogs are social pack animals and creatures of routine.

    Make an appointment with Chastain Veterinary Medical Group for an exam within the first few days of meeting your new puppy. Our veterinarian s will get your puppy on track for a healthy life. We provide dog neutering, dog dental cleaning, and much more. To make an appointment, call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney / Frisco at (972) – 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (469) 759-7620. You can also make an appointment online at here, or by means of our free mobile App available through Google Play or iTunes.