• Teaching Your Dog to Heel

    Training your dog to heel will help you gain more control over your pet when you go for a walk. As with any type of training, your veterinarian can offer tips to make your efforts as effective as possible. This video will also help.

    You can begin to teach the heel command by walking so that your dog is positioned between you and a wall. Traditionally, dogs heal on the humans’ left side. Put a treat in your hand on the side on which you want your dog to walk, and reward them for walking close to you when you give the command.

    Conscientious training and consistency of behavior requests and rewards makes life better for you and your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about training during your next visit at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our AAHA accredited animal hospitals in north Dallas and McKinney offer comprehensive services, from dog neutering to cat teeth cleaning. To make an appointment, call (972) 239-1309 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney/Frisco area).

  • Signs Your Dog Needs Behavioral Counseling

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    Your veterinarian can help with more than immunizations and spaying and neutering. He or she can also be an important source of information about your dog’s behavioral health. A well-behaved dog is a happy dog, and having a dog that follows commands will make your life easier as well. If your dog exhibits bad behaviors, consider asking your veterinarian for behavioral counseling recommendations.

    Aggression is the biggest red flag when it comes to dog behavior. Even a small dog can deliver a painful bite, and if your pet is aggressive with someone else, you as the pet owner could face a lot of hassle and possibly some stiff legal costs. Behavioral counseling and training can help diffuse a lot of dog aggression. Persistent barking, jumping on people, and excessive leash pulling are also signs that your pet could benefit from behavioral counseling and training.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is committed to your pet’s health in every way, including supporting good pet behavior. Both of our animal hospitals are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. Ask any of our licensed veterinarians in the Dallas area for training recommendations at your next visit, or call Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 to ask about behavioral services.

  • How to Keep Your New Kitten Healthy and Happy

    veterinarian dallas If you have recently welcomed a new kitten into your home, then there is little doubt you’re looking for ways to be the best pet parent possible. There are several simple steps you can take to make sure your new kitten stays as healthy and happy as possible. Most important of all: Start with a visit to the veterinarian for an initial checkup shortly after you bring your kitten home. Among other things, most new kittens will need an initial kitten deworming or a poop check for worms. Vaccinations may need to be updated and we recommend that all new kittens be started on feline heartworm preventive straight away. Here are some other steps that should also help.

    Choose the Right Food
    Talk to your veterinarian about what kinds of food are best for your kitten. Usually, high-quality kitten foods are high in protein and taurine and low in carbs and other fillers. In light of some recent research, the cautious pet parent may want to limit or eliminate fish flavored foods from the new kitten’s diet, for the time being. When introducing a new food, slowly transition by mixing both the new and old foods for a few days, reducing the amount of old food over each feeding. Some kittens eat their meals in one sitting, while others prefer to graze, so watch your kitten to learn his or her eating habits. Kittens should eat a minimum of three times per day.

    Provide Plenty of Water
    Kittens need access to fresh water around the clock—replenish and change the water multiple times per day if it becomes dirty. Water is the only liquid your kitten needs to drink. Although you may be tempted to give your kitten milk, skip it to avoid a trip to the pet hospital. Kittens like the taste of milk, but it can cause intense stomach distress and should not be offered, even as a treat.

    Get Your Kitten Spayed or Neutered
    Spaying and neutering makes cats a little more pleasant to have around in the house, as it prevents them from going into heat or getting pregnant. It also reduces fighting and aggressive behavior. We, or your regular vat can recommend the best time for cat neutering or spaying, so make the appointment in advance in accordance with the timeline your vet suggests.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group provides comprehensive care for cats and kittens, including cat teeth cleaning and cat neutering in north Dallas and the McKinney /Frisco area of Texas. Make an appointment for your new feline companion today by calling (972) 239-1309 (north Dallas area) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney/Frisco area).

  • Teaching Your Puppy to Come When Called

    Teaching your dog to come is one of the most important commands it will learn. People tend to make the same mistakes when trying to teach a dog to come. If your dog is resistant to learning, talk to your veterinarian. This video can also provide some insight for dog owners.

    The trick to teaching your dog to come is to make obeying the command fun and rewarding to the dog; especially in the beginning. Every time your dog comes, give a treat, a toy, or plenty of praise. Never call your dog in an angry voice or yell when he or she reaches you. We want obeying the command to be a positive experience.

    The vets at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can offer extensive behavioral advice as well spay and neuter services, pet dental services, and exotic animal care. Schedule a visit to our AAHA accredited DFW area animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

  • Tips for Choosing a Great Boarding Kennel

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    As much as your furry friends are a part of the family, they cannot always be a part of family vacations. When you need to leave your pet behind for a trip, having a great boarding kennel to rely on can give you peace of mind. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend a boarding kennel for your pet. These tips will also help you narrow down your choices.

    Ask for Recommendations
    One of the best ways to learn about kennels is to ask others who have used them in the past. Talk to family, friends, and neighbors about the boarding kennels they use for their pets and if they know of any kennels you should avoid. Your veterinarian and the staff at your animal clinic may also have advice, especially if you need services other than cat or dog boarding.

    Visit Potential Kennels
    Before you leave your animal at a kennel, visit it for a tour. Does it seem clean and well maintained? Is there a veterinarian on site or on call for accidents and emergencies? Does the staff seem caring and knowledgeable, and do the animals seem to have adequate ventilation and space? Be sure to ask questions about feeding times, required immunizations, and exercise schedules to help you determine if a particular kennel is right for your pet. A good kennel will provide pets with ample activity and supervision and will have areas where nervous pets and small animals can be kept away from larger or more aggressive pets.

    Discuss Medical Emergencies
    Every kennel should have a policy in place for dealing with accidents, illnesses and medical emergencies in pets in their care. You should also provide the kennel with any medications and special foods your pet may need. Make sure the kennel has information about your vet and that you sign an authorization for vet care so that your pet can get urgent medical care if needed.

    Why not get real peace of mind during your next trip and board your pet at one of the locations of Chastain Veterinary Medical Group? We provide supervised boarding for all of the animals we treat at our pet hospital, including exotic animals. Both of our animal hospitals are accredited to the strict standards of the American Animal Hospital Association. Call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney to learn more about boarding in our facilities.

  • Ways to Identify Your Pet

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    Losing a pet can be devastating, and unfortunately, most animals are adept at escaping the house and yard when something tempts them to explore. The good news is that you don’t have to rely on luck and missing posters if your pet gets lost. Your veterinarian can offer tips for identifying your pet if he or she ever goes missing.

    A collar with an ID tag is an important first line of defense for lost pets, but there is more you can do. Tattooing is an option that is useful for some animals, but veterinarians do express concern that tattoos can smudge over time or that there may be duplicate numbers. Microchipping may be the most reliable pet ID method. Your veterinarian will place a small chip—smaller than a grain of rice—that stores your contact information under your pet’s skin. If your pet becomes lost, the chip can be scanned at any vet office and most animal shelters so that you can be reunited. Most recently, pet GPS tracking devices have become affordable for ordinary pets and people – see Whistle and Pod for more.

    For advice about pet identification and other useful pet health information, including advice on dog and cat neutering and pet dental services, contact Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Make an appointment for your pet at our AAHA accredited animal hospitals near Dallas by calling (972) 239-1309 for north Dallas or (972) 529-5033 for the McKinney/Frisco area.

  • Get the Facts about Heartworm in Dogs

    veterinarian dallas Heartworm disease is a potentially deadly risk for all dogs. Cats and ferrets are also at risk, although these species are not as commonly affected. Fortunately, preventative medication provided by your veterinarian can help to keep your animal safe. All dog owners can benefit from understanding the facts about heartworms to reduce the chances of their beloved pet becoming infected. Talk to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention in your dog, and keep this information in mind.

    Heartworm Disease Is Spread by Mosquitos
    Heartworm disease cannot be spread from one dog to another directly. Rather, an infected dog must be bitten by a mosquito, which then transmits the disease to another dog after taking a blood meal from the first dog. However, this does not mean that indoor dogs are immune to heartworm disease. No dog spends all of its time indoors, and mosquitos do get indoors on occasional. Only a single mosquito bite is needed for your pet to become infected. That is why most vets recommend that all dogs receive heartworm prevention medication all year long in north central Texas, regardless of lifestyle.

    No Region Is Immune to Heartworm Disease
    Some pet owners mistakenly believe that heartworms are only a problem in areas with epidemic levels of the disease. In reality, dogs in all 50 states have been diagnosed with heartworm disease, which impacts one million dogs annually. As families relocate around the country, the risk of heartworm disease also increases in new areas, so prevention is recommended no matter where you live.

    Prevention Is More Effective Than Curing
    Treatment for heartworm disease exists, but it is not without its own set of risks for your pet and it is not always 100% effective. It can also be expensive. For example, as of this writing, the standard two phase canine heartworm treatment protocol, with preliminary lab testing, might run a person just under $1,600 for a 50 pound dog by the time it’s all done. This compares to about $260 for a year’s supply of Trifexis or about $105 for a year’s supply of Heartgard for the same dog.

    Modern heartworm prevention medications are usually given once per month and are available in a variety of administration formats, from pills to topicals. We, or your regular vet, can help you choose the right one for your animal.

    Discuss heartworm disease prevention and any other pet care concerns you may have with a licensed veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our veterinary hospitals in north Dallas and McKinney are both AAHA accredited and both provide preventative care and emergency animal care. Find out how we can help keep your dog healthy by calling (972) 239-1309 (north Dallas) or (972) 529-5033 (McKinney/Frisco area).

  • The Pet Owner’s Guide to Visiting the Vet

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    A visit to the animal hospital might not be on the list of your pet’s favorite things to do, but keeping up with proper vet care is an essential part of being a responsible pet parent. You can get the most out of your visit to the animal hospital and make the experience a positive one for your pet, your veterinarian, and yourself by following a few simple guidelines. At your pet’s next appointment at the vet, keep these tips in mind.

    Speak Up about Behavioral Problems
    Vets are well aware that animal behavior is not always predictable, and you cannot always anticipate how your pet will react if he or she becomes anxious during an exam. However, if your pet has a history of behavioral issues at the vet, alert the doctor and staff up front. For instance, if your dog has a sore back or has been known to snap at vets in the past, giving the animal clinic staff this information will allow them to plan for a safe and positive visit.

    Be Honest about Your Pet’s Health
    You may hesitate to tell your vet something that you have or have not done that impacts your pet’s health, but speaking up could make all of the difference in your pet’s care. Tell your vet if you gave your pet something he or she shouldn’t have eaten, or if you inadvertently caused an injury, or if your pet may have gotten into some human pharmaceuticals, for example. We veterinarians have heard all this kind of stuff before and we only want the information so that we can make the right treatment plan for your pet.

    Address All of Your Concerns
    Your vet is committed to your pet’s health and can work with you on a wide range of issues. If you are worried about any aspect of your pet’s health, from behavioral issues to dietary concerns to financial constraints, bring these matters during your appointment. Your vet can be an invaluable source of information and resources.

    The Chastain Veterinary Medical Group cares for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and small mammals at our two AAHA accredited pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney. Whether you need pet dental services, a check-up, or care for a specific condition, you can set up an appointment today by calling (972) 239-1309 for north Dallas or (972) 529-5033 for the McKinney/Frisco area.