The Problem with Fake Service Animals

fake service animalsModern pets enjoy lives their ancestors would hardly recognize. Not only do we provide them with the best in nutrition and medical care, we also have a respect for animals that has grown considerably in recent decades. Studies show that most pet owners now consider their four-legged companions family members.

Indeed, pets are wonderful additions to our homes and families. But what happens when the desire to include our fur babies in every aspect of our daily lives leads to problems?

It’s easy to purchase a service animal vest online and hop on a plane or walk into a restaurant with your pet these days. Unfortunately, the rise in these fake service animals has significant costs to those who truly depend upon an animal for their independence and, in many cases, their lives.

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Introducing the Catio and Other Awesome Activities for Cats

Winter is…well, it’s far from over yet, but one thing we know for sure is that spring is on the horizon. After a long, cold season indoors, you and your furry companion may be feeling a little stir-crazy and no doubt may be looking for some new activities to inspire exercise.

As the team at West Park Animal Hospital has mentioned in previous blogs, cats require a lot of enrichment to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Indoor cats especially are at risk of becoming overweight without some activities to keep them moving. You, too, may need some help in this department, which is why we’ve gathered some fun ideas of activities for cats and their owners.

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An Unthinkable Tragedy: How to Avoid a Stolen Pet

stolen petPet theft is on the rise, with close to 2 million pets being stolen each year. Depending on breed, some of these pets end up as fighting dogs, used for breeding, or sold to labs that test on animals. In many other cases, they’re simply given as gifts or taken home.

A stolen pet is a particularly tragic situation, as many of these pets are never reunited with their rightful families. While this may seem unlikely because you supervise your pet, the reality is there are many situations that put a pet at risk. Pet theft can happen any time; all it takes is a few seconds.

In observance of Pet Theft Awareness Day on February 14th, we want to help protect your pet by offering up the following tips.

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They Call it Puppy Love: Your Dog and Your New Partner

your dog and your new partnerWith Valentine’s Day on the horizon, love is in the air, and many of our readers may find themselves in a new relationship. For some pet owners, introducing your dog and your new partner may be dicey; for others, it goes surprisingly well (I mean, who wouldn’t love your dog?).

While your new partner may be a pet owner or an animal lover, introductions may need some finessing, especially in a new home. Even the most chill dog can get a little possessive or unruly when they’re introduced to another home with new sights, smells, and experiences.

The team at West Park Animal Hospital is happy to play Cupid by giving you some pointers on how to successfully take your pet to your new significant other’s home — without all the drama (we hope!).

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Don’t Fake It: Service and Therapy Dogs

therapy dogsChances are you’ve been out at a restaurant, hotel, or grocery store and have seen dogs in service animal vests accompanying their owners. You may have even considered getting your dog one of those vests so readily obtained on Amazon (advertising that you can “take your dog anywhere”), and passing them off as therapy dogs.

Many people are now doing this, and what’s the harm?

Most pet owners would love to spend more time with our dogs, and bringing them along wherever we go sounds pretty good. But, at West Park Animal Hospital, we are here with a plea: Don’t pretend your dog is a service animal. Here’s why!

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Meow-Wow! Learn More About Your Furry BFF with the Latest Pet Research

latest pet researchFor centuries, humans have turned to the scientific method to help untangle life’s mysteries. Considering how deeply entwined our lives are with our dogs, cats, and other domestic animals, it’s no surprise that we would be intensely curious about what makes them tick, and how that relates to our relationships with them.

Here at West Park Animal Hospital, our fascination with pets remains at an all-time high, and we can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with the latest pet research!

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Modern Jobs for Working Dogs

Humans and dogs have been working alongside each other for thousands of years. Throughout history, humans have bred dogs to perform specific tasks, and our shared history includes hunting, herding, and guarding. Although dogs are still performing many of the same tasks they were bred for, jobs for working dogs has changed in exciting and fascinating ways over the years.

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Westpark Animal Hospital’s Top 10 Pet Care Blogs of 2017

Looking back at the last holiday season, does it feel like it was longer than a mere 12 months ago? It’s all relative, of course, but for many, 2017 was a long year. Luckily, the Cavaliers and the Indians kept our enthusiasm in tact, lest we forget that Lady Gaga, Guns’N’Roses, and Billy Joel all graced our fine city this year.

Reflecting on our own accomplishments in 2017, we can say we’re honored to be a part of your pet’s life. We hope our pet care blog found a way to help you with your pet’s health, fitness, or behavior. Beyond the usual issues, we also like to explore topics that are relevant to our community of pet lovers, especially ones that support and enhance the human-animal bond.

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Party Animals! Your Guide To Throwing A Pet Friendly Party

Throughout history, human beings will find any excuse to throw a party. We get together to celebrate nearly every milestone in life including birthdays, graduations, awards, retirements, baptisms, and many more. But why should we have all the fun?

Today’s pets enjoy an elevated status in our society, and with over 50% of U.S. households containing one or more four-legged family member, it makes sense that the pet party industry has taken off. At West Park Animal Hospital we love the idea of celebrating pets, and have put together some ideas to get you started off on the right paw when it comes to throwing your own pet friendly party.

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Meowy Christmas: Celebrating a Cat Friendly Holiday

cat friendly holidayWhether you’ve had your home completely decorated and all of your meals and gatherings planned since November, or you take a more minimalist (and last-minute) approach, there’s a certain element of nostalgic joy that goes along with the sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays. This time of year probably doesn’t evoke the same emotions in your cat, but it may bring about intense curiosity, playfulness, and even stress that could get a kitty into hot water.

The gift of a cat friendly holiday is something any of us can create with a little bit of planning and preparation. Your ….

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