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Taking Care of Animals: Pro Tips for Pet Owners

Bringing a new pet into your house can be as intimidating as it is exciting. Even if you have an animal or two at home, a new pet can lead to plenty of unanswered questions.

We dove into some research to dig up tips for taking care of animals, focusing on the most common household pets. Whether you’re becoming a first-time pet owner or have had multiple animal companions, this guide can help your new family member feel right at home.


No matter what type of furry friend you’re welcoming into your family, there are some basic animal care guidelines you should follow. Scan the article to find your species and see your personalized tips.

Basics: Make sure to stock up on high-quality dog food, especially if you’re bringing home a puppy. As the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) points out, puppies typically need three to four meals per day. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times also

It’s important to maintain a safe environment. If your pooch will be staying outdoors, you’ll need some sort of temperature control system to ensure they remain comfortable. That may include a heated shelter during winter and access to cool water during the summer. A microchip or some sort of collar identification is a must for both indoor and outdoor dogs.


Tips to Prepare You for Owning a Veterinary Practice

According to a recent survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average graduate has $162,113 in student loan debt. A recent graduate can expect to make a salary of between $60,000 and $80,000 a year. That seems like a good living for someone just out of school – until you take into account all of your expenses: a roof over your head, food on the table and, oh yes, those student loans.

Pay attention to non-compete agreements

Imagine that your friend comes running into the lab room 3 days before graduation. She just landed a job at a large practice that will produce $500,000 to $600,000 in production right away, which translates into a salary of $100,000 to $120,000 a year. You’re working for a small clinic that is privately owned and you’ll be lucky to make $85,000 a year between production and bonus. Did you make the wrong career decision?

Consider home ownership and proximity to available practices

Imagine that you’ve landed a well-paying job at a great clinic. You’re building your savings, settling down and even thinking about starting a family. You’re setting yourself up to buy a practice in the next year or so – and you’re thinking now is the time to buy your dream home.

Jobs, continuing education and relief work

Most veterinary associates who buy a practice do so within 5 to 10 years of graduation. This may seem like a long time, but it can go by in a heartbeat – think about being a freshman in college and being where you are today.

Find a good mentor

Very few people become successful without some help and guidance. That’s why it’s wise to seek out a mentor, someone who can help you grow as a doctor and a professional. Find someone who can be both your cheerleader and your coach. Your mentor needs to have time for you and be committed to providing guidance, feedback and support. Finding a mentor outside of your employer can give you a fresh perspective on daily situations; that person can also stay with you as you move forward to another clinic and eventually open your own.


Tips For Your Trip to the Veterinarian

Taking your cat to the veterinary office can be stressful for your cat and for you. Wellness visits are just as important for cats as for dogs, and cats are so good at hiding illness that routine exams are vital to maintaining their health and catching diseases early.  Once the carrier comes out or our routine for the day changes, they pick up on these cues and disappear. If you manage to get them into the carrier, it can be a stressful journey to the office for both parties.

Providing your cat with good health care, especially preventive health care, can allow her to live a longer, more comfortable life. However, this cannot happen unless you take your cat to see the veterinarian routinely.

Why is My Cat Fearful of Her Carrier?

Cats are most comfortable with the familiar, and need time to adjust to the unfamiliar. So, if her carrier is not an object in her regular environment, your cat does not have time to become familiar with it.

Your cat probably associates her carrier with visits to the veterinarian’s office which is probably not her favorite place.

Respect your cat’s need for time to become familiar with new situations, people, and places.

Stay calm. Cats can sense our anxiety or frustrations, which may cause them to become fearful or anxious.

Helping Your Cat Become Comfortable with the Carrier

The goal is for your cat to learn to associate the carrier with positive experiences and enter the carrier frequently and voluntarily.

Make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time.

Place familiar soft bedding inside the carrier. Bedding or clothing with your scent can make your cat feel more secure.

Place treats, catnip, or toys inside the carrier to encourage your cat to go inside. Often, you will first see that treats are removed from the carrier overnight. Cats do not learn from punishment or force. Give rewards to encourage positive behavior.

It may take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier. Remain calm, patient, and reward desired behaviors.

If you still have trouble, you may need to assess the carrier itself and find a carrier that your cat likes. Your veterinarian can help you with this search.

Clean the carrier thoroughly with a non-noxious cleanser, rinse well, and leave in the sun to dry for a day. This can help remove any previously released stress pheromones.

Getting an Unwilling Cat into the Carrier

If your cat needs to be transported immediately to go to the veterinarian or due to another emergency situation, and she is not yet accustomed to the carrier,


Tips for Applying to Vet School

The popularity of veterinary medicine has created a highly competitive admissions process for the available seats in each vet school class. Most of the 30 vet schools in the United States, as well as several international programs, utilize the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) to streamline the admissions process. This centralized service allows students to submit their information to multiple schools by creating a single application.

The VMCAS application is certainly an important part of the process, but there are several additional things to consider when applying to vet school

Find Out Each School’s Admission Requirements

Make sure you have taken the required courses for each school you are applying to. While most requirements are similar, the specifics do vary somewhat from one school to the next.

Document Your Experience

Keep a log that documents your hours working in a vet clinic as well as all other animal-related internships and volunteer activities. Be sure you gain experience working with both small and large animals if possible. Make yourself a well-rounded candidate.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Start Your Application

Be well aware of the deadline for applications and be sure to have your application materials completed early. Applications through the VMCAS service are usually accepted beginning in May or June, with the deadline being early October. There are many sections that are required and it can take a significant amount of time to complete all areas.


Tips to Help Your Cat’s Veterinarian Visit Go Smoothly

As any caring cat parent knows, a routine visit to the vet is anything but routine. Regular examinations are the right thing to do, but try telling that to your cat. Stress levels run rampant. Emotions are on high. This can be especially true for senior cats that are showing signs of changes in their behavior. If only there was a way to help tame the entire vet experience. The following steps should help you plan and prepare the next time your senior cat is due for an appointment.

Carrier Tips

Be sure to always use a carrier, or substitute with another safe container for safe transport.

If your senior cat keeps refusing to enter the carrier, help get your cat acclimated to it by placing it among your home’s everyday environment. Place any treats, favorite toys or blankets inside to make it more comfortable and inviting for your cat. And be sure to keep them inside once your cat enters.

Top-loading carriers are less stressful for your senior cat, as they allow for easier removal. And if needed, your cat can be examined while remaining inside the carrier.

Car Ride Tips

Don’t limit car rides strictly for visits to the vet. Start taking your cat on regular rides in the carrier to help your cat get used to the motion and the surroundings of your vehicle.

Avoid feeding your cat for at least one hour before transport to keep your cat from getting carsick.

Office Tips

Give your cat a treat or verbal praise to reward good behavior in both the lobby and veterinarian’s office.

Always speak in a soft voice to help your cat remain calm.

Never resist a trained veterinary professional from handling your cat. This will raise your cat’s anxiety and cause her to bite or scratch.

Be sure to discuss with your veterinarian ways to make your next visit even more comfortable for both you and your senior cat.