Happy National Mutt Day! 5 reasons to adopt a mixed breed dog

Today is National Mutt Day and I am dedicating this post to my sweet boy, Mack. I adopted him from the shelter after he had been found on the side of the road as a puppy with a broken leg. He loved to swim and retrieve like a Labrador, he protected my children like a guard dog, and let them ‘doctor’ him and use him as their pillow - he was their best snuggle buddy.. Mixed breed dogs are fabulous additions to the family and here are 5 reasons to encourage you to adopt one:

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Leigh Hofmeister
Fireworks, The 4th, and Your Pet: 6 tips for safety

The 4th of July is easily one of my favorite holidays. I love swimming with my kids in the pool or riding the waves with them at the beach, snacking on fresh fruit and juicy cheeseburgers, and spending time with family and friends. I haven’t stayed awake to watch the fireworks in years, but they are also one of my favorite parts of the 4th. My dog, however, does not share the same enjoyment. I have always had at least one dog who was terrified of fireworks (and thunderstorms too) and that always caused me a bit of anxiety when I knew the 4th of July week was coming up. Over the years I found ways to lessen his fears, so I wanted to share those with you as well other tips to keep your fur baby safe on the 4th.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Adopt A Cat: Why cats make great family pets & how to prepare for a new arrival

Let me just say, cats are awesome family members! I have people ask me all the time if they should get a hamster, a guinea pig, or maybe a rabbit because their child really wants a pet but they don’t have the time to train a puppy. Enter: the family cat. There are many reasons to consider adding a feline to the family and since June is adopt a shelter cat month, I thought I would talk about what wonderful pets cats are and how to go about adding one to your family.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Parvo: what you need to know

If you follow me on social media, you know we have welcomed 2 new family members: Banks, a yellow lab puppy & Hemingway, a black lab puppy.  We love them and are so excited, but within days of bringing them home they were both hospitalized with parvovirus. In talking to my friends and family I realized people do not really know much about this potentially deadly illness! So, I thought it was a good topic to discuss through my website and hopefully spread knowledge!

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Leigh Hofmeister
Pet appreciation: 4 ways to thank our pets for all they give to us

Love. Loyalty. Companionship. Protection. Entertainment. Inspiration. Our pets give to us every day, unconditionally, mostly without prompts or bribes (I said mostly!).  I would not be the veterinarian I am today without the influence of my childhood dog, Belle.  I would not be the mom (fur and human) I am without first mothering my cat Samson, who was my very first pet as an adult.  My patients fill me up – even when they are sick, their strength encourages me and inspires me to be a better doctor.  I am not sure it is really possible to thank these creatures for all they give to us, but I am attempting it! 

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Leigh Hofmeister
Lyme Disease Awareness: 5 things you might not know

Lyme disease is the most reported vector-borne disease in the United States.  Lyme disease is  transmitted by ticks and affects both humans as well as animals causing illness, and even death, if not caught and treated on time.  With common symptoms like lameness (limping), decreased appetite and lethargy, Lyme disease can be difficult to tell apart from other ailments that could affect our dogs.  The month of May is dedicated to Lyme Disease Awareness so I have put together some facts on this common and potentially deadly disease.

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Leigh Hofmeister
The Link Between Grain-Free Diets and Heart Disease in Dogs

Pet food is a frequent topic of conversation among pet owners and veterinarians. What should I feed my dog? Dry kibble? Canned food? What about a raw diet? Or homemade diet? We all want to make the best decision for our animals and give them the best nutrients possible, but if you have read anything about pet food recently, you know that isn’t so easy to do.

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Leigh Hofmeister
The Asian Longhorned Tick: What you need to know

Spring has sprung in many states across the USA and I don’t know about you but both of my dogs have been out and about – laying in sunbeams, helping us in the garden, and even venturing to the beach!  As these warm days sneak up on us, we all need to remember the warmer weather exposes our pets to ectoparasites like fleas and ticks. And this year, there is a new tick to be concerned about, the Asian Longhorned tick, whose behavior makes using year round prevention more important than ever.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Happy Holidays: 3 tips to keep your pet safe this season

As we near the end of the year, family begins to gather for fellowship and celebration.  Home cooked meals and spirits flowing in the company of loved ones give us all holiday cheer this time of year.  However, many veterinarians will tell you this can be one of the busiest times of the year for them – especially veterinarians who work in the emergency room.  As we gather together with loved ones, many times our pets are present yet not always watched closely.  As a result they can get very sick or injured.  Here are 3 tips to keep your pets safe this holiday season.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Rabies Virus: How much do you really know?

Rabies. A disease mentioned constantly by your veterinarian and seen occasionally in the news and media, but what do you really know about it?  It has been my experience that not everyone truly understands rabies virus and the disease it causes.  So, in honor of World Rabies Day (also, my son’s birthday…how fitting!) I am attempting to spread education and awareness on this deadly virus.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Disaster Preparedness for Pets: 7 tips

September is my favorite month where I live.  The tourists have gone, we have cool mornings and evenings, but still experience warm days.  The beach is beautiful (and empty!) in September, yet the water still warm enough to swim.  September is also the heart of hurricane season on the east coast, and as we stock away water, canned food, and other essentials for impending storms, we do not want to forget about our 4-legged family members.  Here are 7 tips to help prepare you and your pet for a natural disaster.

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Leigh Hofmeister
Ticks: what's the big deal?

March is a tricky month, isn’t it? In many parts of the United States people are experiencing the last snow storms Winter has to offer while others are beginning to see glimpses of Spring. As far as our pets are concerned, this is the time of year their exposure to ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes) begins to really become a threat.  Many pet parents choose to discontinue their monthly flea and tick prevention during the winter months as they do not feel the exposure really exists, while others continue to treat their animals every month.  I want to discuss the importance of preventing ectoparasites in our animals – specifically ticks – because they pose a threat not only to the health of our pets, but also to us!

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Leigh Hofmeister
Feline Oral Health: 4 common conditions affecting cats

Last but never least, our feline friends.  Cats are unique in many ways, but unfortunately, like dogs, dental disease is common in cats as well - affecting 80% of felines over age 3.  In addition to periodontal disease, many conditions affect the oral health of our felines.  Here are 4 of the most common:

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Leigh Hofmeister
Dental Disease: What You Need to Know

Chances are, if your dog or cat is more than 4 years old, your veterinarian has mentioned dental disease or talked with you about dental care.  February is National Pet Dental Health Month so I am coming at you this month with a 3-part series in an attempt to bring awareness to dental disease and help you to provide the best care for your fur baby.

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Leigh Hofmeister
All About Those Reindeer: 7 fun facts

If I could be a veterinarian for Santa’s reindeer, I think my life would be complete.  Spending afternoons with the jolly ole fellow, sipping egg nog, and discussing how to best care for the sleigh-pulling team who bring joy to so many. Bucket list: complete!

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Leigh Hofmeister