March Madness…The Weight Loss Competition!

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weight loss competition updateWe’re well into our weight loss competition, and we wanted to give you an update! As you can see, we have five fabulous contestants – two dogs and three cats.

These pets and their owners are working with us on reducing weight in healthy and safe manner. We’re helping these families with lifestyle and dietary changes that are making this possible. We’re about halfway through the competition. As with humans, weight loss isn’t easy, and sometimes, you find you actually gain at first!

It can be discouraging, but the important thing is that healthy changes are being made, and every single bit of weight loss counts. You just have to stick with it!

Here’s the progress so far:

OZZY NANCE: Age 6 years and 11 months, Neutered Male Yorkshire Terrier.
Starting weight of 21.94 (on 1/21)
New weight of 19.10 (on 3/19)

NAPHTALI TALI GAEDTKE: Age 7 years and 8 months, Neutered Male Tabby.
Starting weight of 13.69 (on 1/14)

New weight 14.19 (on 2/28)

VICKERS WHITLEY: Age 9 years and 8 months, Neutered Male Dachshund.
Starting weight of 21.2 (on 1/21)
New weight of 21.4 (on 3/9)

FLANNERY BROOKSHIRE: Age 9 years, Neutered Siamese.
Starting weight of 12.63 (on 1/28)
New weight 12.5 (on 3/3)

AUGIE GRACE: Age 4 years, 11 months, Neutered Male Domestic Feline.
Starting weight of 19.69 (on 1/15).
Latest weight information not available.

So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Our March madness brackets, ready for your office pool. Pull for your favorite to lose – so they can win!

 

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Pamper Your Cat and Help Another Cat Sparkle

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sparkle cat logo textVery soon you can PURRRRchase organic cat nip toys for your sweet kitty, and all the money raised will go to Sparkle Cat Rescue. The non-profit organization does not have an office location and is completely run by CATegorically dedicated volunteers.

These fabulous toys are handmade right here in Burlington, NC and are a great CATch at $3 each or 2 for $5. They’re made from fleece which has been very popular so far with our cats. (Maybe it’s just a FELINE — but we think your kitty’s going to love them. )

100% of the catnip toy proceeds help with the costs of spaying/neutering, vaccinations, combo testings, necessary emergency medical care, and food and supplies for cats waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. (Have you seen those sweet faces?? Call me CATsonova – I think I’m in love.)

You can find these popular cat-friendly accessories at the following local businesses:

Town N Country Animal Hospital (That’s us!)
The Main Line
Point of View Art Gallery
Whitsett Goin Postal

You can also like Sparkle Cat Rescue on Facebook and keep up to date on PAWsome events, creative fundraisers, and the coolest cats in North Carolina.

Or go directly to Sparkle Cat Rescue’s website.

Our Town N Country friends are always wonFURfully generous when in comes to helping cats in need. Thank you for being so PURRRific!

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Susan’s Wings 4 Hope Takes Flight

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lupusFinding a Cure for Lupus Maya is one of the wonderful patients here at Town N Country. Her parents are Jeff and Susan Corbett. Susan has been diagnosed with Lupus, and in 2010 Susan founded Susan’s Wings 4 Hope. In the early years, the organization served as a team to take part in the Walk to End Lupus Now. However as the years passed, the organization evolved into something more.

Today Susan’s Wings 4 Hope has become a name synonymous with “lupus thrivers” here in Burlington and Greensboro. Susan says, “I choose not to believe I am surviving this disease but rather that I am thriving with it!” Many of Susan’s supporters consider the Walk to End Lupus a highlight of their year.

This year’s walk is scheduled for Sunday April 19th on Centennial Campus at NC State University. Last year, 50 people who supported Susan’s Wings 4 Hope turned out for the walk, and it’s hoped that the number will be even higher this year.

Susan’s doggie Maya has found a practical way to help her mommy’s fight this year – she has established a web page to help raise money for Susan’s Team. ALL the money raised goes to help support the activities of the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFA,NC).

A tendency for thinking of good ideas must run in the family. Susan says, “Jeff and I are
extremely active in the LFA,NC, and in October 2014 I received their “Champion of the Year” award for my advocacy and fundraising efforts. “

Go here to help Maya get the word out to the community!

If you can participate in the Walk or support someone who is, you will be helping to raise awareness and eventually find a cure for Lupus. “As I tell people all the time,” confides Susan, “there is no contribution to Susan’s Wings 4 Hope that is too small. “

Another way you might choose to support Lupus Thrivers is through the 2nd Annual Paint for Lupus fundraiser that’s in partnership with The Painter’s Roost on Huffman Mill Road scheduled for Sunday March 15th from 2-5 p.m.

Last year’s event raised $500. To participate, donors pay $40 per person – and have everything provided so participants go home with their own original painting. If you’re interested, please let us know, and we’ll pass the word along to Susan. With your help, a cure for Lupus is one step closer.

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Snow, snow, snow!

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We love these pictures of our pets out in the snow! It’s not too late…go here and send yours in, too!

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How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

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dog dental healthLook at those beautiful white teeth!

Keep the teeth of your puppy or kitten healthy with regular brushing. Stats on a lack of the habit look grim: by the age of 5, about 85% of all pets show signs of gum disease. But knowing that we should brush and actually doing it are two different things. How do you even get started on this important part of good oral care for your pet?

Your introduction will probably be easier with a kitten or puppy, so it’s recommended that you start early. Helping an older dog or cat get used to the habit of teeth brushing may take a little more time and patience, but it’s not impossible.

No matter your pet’s age, the key to starting any good habit is to start slowly and be persistent. One way to introduce the concept is to leave a pet toothbrush with a little pet toothpaste on it within your pet’s reach – like on the floor. Your sweet kitten may sniff it and walk away while your precocious puppy may enthusiastically lick the toothpaste off the brush in three seconds flat. Your mature regal pet may ignore the whole thing in hopes it will disappear. (“Toothbrush? What toothbrush?”)

Any of these reactions is perfectly normal – you’re only concerned with a happy introduction. After a few days of the random toothbrush within reach, you can start to actually brush your pet’s teeth. Your tool of choice may be an angled toothbrush, a “finger” brush that fits over your index finger, or even a clean rag that’s wrapped around your finger.

Choose your time wisely. After a good long walk or play session, your pet should be settled down, more relaxed and hopefully ready to try something new.

If you only brush one or two teeth and your dog starts to back away, your time’s up. Put away your brush or rag, hand over a treat and praise her with your soothing voice. You want to continue with your happy introduction, and tomorrow’s another day.

Slowly, your pet should get used to brushing. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth once daily. At least once every week or so, examine inside your pet’s mouth and look for:

1. Unusual or new bumps in mouth
2. Increased drooling
3. Red or swollen gums
4. Missing teeth

Also watch for any change in appetite or eating habits. Pets should visit the vet to have teeth examined professionally every six to twelve months.

Just as in humans, bad oral health can lead to problems like heart, liver or kidney disease. The fringe benefits of brushing your pet’s teeth are certainly worth your time – good oral health positively affects the life span of your pet. That’s why we’re offering free oral exams between right now and the end of March.

When you come for your pet’s appointment, you can find out more about your pet’s dental health with complimentary educational materials, help with a home dental plan, and if needed, an estimate for a professional cleaning.

Give us a call – and let’s get started!

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Take My Breath Away…

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bad breathDoes your doggie’s breath take your breath away? Doggie breath should not be synonymous with bad breath. A healthy mouth boasts pretty, pink gums with no foul odor. Bad breath can be an early sign of infection or greater health challenges.

The only positive for bad doggie breath in your pet is that you received a wake-up call and a nudge to take a closer look.

Just as your own health can be compromised by periodontal disease, your pet’s dental infections can lead to problems with her heart, liver and kidneys that can consequently result in a shortened lifespan.

Take a look inside your pet’s mouth. Are gums red or purple? Can you see tartar accumulation on the teeth? Or does Bruno’s breath smell a bit brutal?

If you said “yes” to any one of these questions, it’s time to give Town N Country a call. Now through the end of March, your pet can receive a free oral exam, a $30 value. We’ll provide you with educational materials, help with a home dental plan, and if needed, an estimate for a professional cleaning.

You’ll also receive a goodie bag of Town N Country’s favorite dental products:

• Oravet toothpaste and toothbrush
• CET Chews for Dogs and Cats
• A Sample of Purina Dental Health
• Diet for Dogs and Cats
• Coupons for 6 Oral Hygiene Sessions

Give us a call – or drop by! Controlling doggie breath with good preventive care means more than a sweet smelling pet. Good dental health can lead to longer, happier lives for your pet.

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Love Your Pet’s Teeth = Love Your Pet

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dental health for dogsDid you know that good oral hygiene for dogs and cats can mean longer lives? As in humans, the bacteria in a pet’s mouth can lead to problems like gum disease and even heart, kidney or liver disease. That’s why Town N Country wants to encourage you to look into your pet’s mouth- literally. What better way to love your pet?!

And to help spread the love, from now through the end of March, we’re giving out coupons for a free oral exam – a $30 value! You can get your free coupon by:

1. Calling the hospital to make an appointment.
2. Dropping by to pick one up.
3. Picking one up anytime your pet comes in for other services like grooming, boarding or daycare.

During your pet’s complimentary oral exam, the technician or nurse performing the exam will give you educational materials and create a home dental health plan. Recommendations for a professional cleaning will be based on the findings of your pet’s oral exam, and you will be given an estimate for this service.

Then, when you schedule a Dental in the months of February or March, your pet will receive a goodie bag full of our favorite dental products, including:

Toothbrush and Oravet Toothpaste
     •CET Chews for Dogs & Cats
     •A Sample of Purina Dental Health
     •Diet for Dogs & Cats
     •Coupons Good For 6 Oral Hygiene Sessions

So give us a call – or come on by! A little tender, loving dental care can serve your favorite pet(s) well for a long time.

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Cold Weather? Practical Ideas to Keep Your Dog (and You) Moving

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mj and lola dressed for cold weatherIf warming your car up is the most exposure you have to cold weather, your dog’s probably not too happy with you. Rain, snow or shine, your dog behaves better and feels more content when a little exercise makes up part of the day.

Even if you don’t like cold weather, here are some exercise ideas that are cold weather friendly:

Indoor Games. When inclement weather makes an outdoor jaunt impractical, a rousing indoor game of fetch can get your dog’s heart rate up. Toss the ball or toy up the stairs or in a totally different direction to keep him guessing.

Shop’ercise. There are stores that are pet friendly – think your local pet shop. Your dog will appreciate a car ride and a change of scenery. Allow your dog to walk up and down the aisles for exercise, and you both can check out the latest toys or food puzzles like a classic Kong or a Goodie Bone.

Hunting Trip. Let your dog fantasize about hunting in the wild. You can use various toy puzzles to get her to work for treats. Or you could simply hide a few small treats in different parts of your home, and tell your dog to “Find your treat!” Lead him to it the first few times, and he’ll soon catch on.

Roll Over Beethoven. Your dog isn’t too old to learn new tricks. Teach her to jump through a hoop, jump, spin around, or an old standby like roll over.

Walk This Way. Doggie Day care at Town N Country offers your dog supervised active time with other dogs. You’ll both be happier at the end of the day. You can also hire a Town N Country staff member to walk your dog for only $10.90 per session. (The price stays the same – rain or shine.)

Mind Trips. People pay big bucks to go on dogsledding trips to colder climes. Go outside! Bundle up, grab the leash, and pretend you are on an Alaskan winter vacation – for less!

Fun activities like these can help your pet reach his weight loss goal, and win the weight loss competition. (What?! You haven’t heard about it? Read more here!)

If you have questions or would like to discuss your dog’s fitness needs, give us a call. We’d love to help your pet live a long, healthy life – no matter the weather.

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Enter Our Weight Loss Contest!

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fat catHere’s the skinny: too much weight gain can endanger your pet. Obesity among pets has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Did you realize that approximately 52% of all US dogs and 58% of all US cats weigh enough to be considered obese or overweight?

When your sweet cat Tabby starts looking tubby, his life span can be two years shorter than a cat at his recommended weight. An overweight pet can suffer from life-threatening conditions like heart disease or diabetes. (Imagine giving your dog insulin shots every 12 hours!)

Dogs or cats that don’t exercise and put on weight may experience orthopedic injuries, cruciate tears, intervertebral disk disease or arthritis. Losing just a little weight can initiate increased activity levels and lead to better health and a longer life span for your pet.

That’s why Town N Country is sponsoring a three month weight loss competition beginning this month. Each entry will receive a Purina starter package – free Purina OM dog food or Purina DM cat food, food bowl, measuring cup, laser pointer (for cats) or frisbee (for dogs).

Each pet must schedule a competition entry appointment before the end of February to be done with an exam room nurse. Your pet will receive a weight evaluation, body condition scoring, picture, and measurements.

Contestants must commit to feed the diet over the 3 month course and return for monthly weigh-ins. The contestant with the highest percentage of weight loss will receive the grand-prize, which includes a complete spa package*, a $150.00 gift certificate for use toward future purchase of prescription weight loss diet, and other surprises!

Of course, in this contest, losers may not win the big prize, but all losers will gain. So call now to schedule your contest entry appointment – and may the best loser win!

*Spa package includes groom or bath, brushout and nail trim, depending on the breed/species of the winner.

Biggest Loser Contest Details and Rules:

Clients wanting their pet to join the program must schedule an intake appointment. This appointment is complimentary and there will be no charge associated with this service. At the appointment the client will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire/diet history for their pet. Our staff will then use this information to counsel the client as to how to successfully start their pet’s weight loss journey (changes in home environment, addition of exercise program, reduction of treats, etc). At the end of the appointment our staff will then take pictures of the pet and record their current weight. This appointment will be with an exam room nurse, will last about 20 minutes and is required for entry; pet must have an up to date physical with our hospital (within the last year). Client will be required to come back in another month and then after a two month period for additional pictures and weight checks.

Client will sign an authorization allowing us to use their pet’s story and images for advertisement. Clients owning a dog will be sent home with a free 6 lb bag of Purina dry canine Overweight Management diet, frisbee, food bowl, measuring cup, and weight loss information/ brochures. Clients owning a cat will be sent home with their choice of a free 6 lb bag of Purina dry feline Dietetic Management diet or 12 cans of Purina feline Dietetic Management, laser light, food bowl, measuring cup, and weight loss information/brochures. The sign up period for this contest will end on February 14, 2015 and we will accept entries while supplies last.

At the end of the contest period one winner will be announced. The winner chosen will be the pet that has lost highest percentage of overall body weight. The prize awarded to this pet will be a spa package with full grooming; this includes a bath, conditioner, brushout, hair cut (if necessary for breed), and nail trim AND a $150.00 gift certificate to be used for future purchases of Purina prescription diets at Town N Country Animal Hospital. To participate in spa services canines must be up to date on their exam, distemper/parvo vaccine, bordetella vaccine, rabies vaccine and fecal centrifuge test. To participate in spa services felines must be up to date on their exam, distemper/calici vaccine, and rabies vaccine. All decisions are final.

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When the Weather Outside is Frightful…

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pet exercise in inclement weatherWe’re headed into January, when the weather outside can be really frightful. Before we get one of those arctic vortex forecasts this season, make plans to keep your pet warm and safe – no matter the temperature. Last year, we had a streak where temperatures dropped into the 20’s with wind chills in the teens or below. We don’t have this kind of weather regularly, but if it comes back this year, there’s no chance for our furry friends to get used to the frigid air. And when the temps plunge, it can be a life or death situation.

Many people don’t realize animals are susceptible to frost bite and dehydration just like humans – even though they have “fur coats” to help keep them warm. A few tips to keep their core temperature warm include keeping them in an enclosed shelter, such as a garage or utility room. Outdoor pets should have an enclosed shelter facing away from the wind.

Also, keep pets water changed often to make sure it does not freeze. Make sure they have plenty of food, too, because keeping warm uses up energy. Use plastic bowls instead of metal, and check your pet’s ears, tail and footpads for signs of frostbite.

Just like you, your pet deserves a warm, comfortable place to stay warm this winter, no matter the weather. Get your pet ready now, and then you’ll be able to sing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

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