Fireworks, Thunder, and Parties…Oh My! Battling Pet Noise Anxiety

June 20th, 2019

Summer means different things to different people – backyard barbeques, camping, trips to the lake, or a big family vacation may be on your agenda. For many pets, however, the warmest months are also the scariest. Thunderstorms, fireworks, and all the parties and gatherings can trigger a host of upsetting behaviors and put a real damper on everyone’s quality of life.

Pet noise anxiety can be a serious concern for pet owners. Prolonged periods of anxiety can be harmful to a pet’s health and wellness, and it can put them at risk for escape or injury. At Berkeley Veterinary Center, we’re a certified Fear Free practice, meaning we’re committed to reducing fear and stress in pets.

Keep reading to understand more about pet noise anxiety and how you can help your furry loved one remain calm and comfortable this summer.

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No More Itch: Identifying and Treating Allergies in Pets

May 16th, 2019

Allergies affect people and pets alike, and can strike at any time of the year. For pets, most allergies cause itchy skin instead of the more typical human allergy symptoms of runny nose and eyes.

According to pet insurance companies, allergies are the number one reason people seek treatment for their pets at the veterinary hospital. Let’s take a look at what an allergies in pets look like and how to help them.

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Meow! Benefits of Owning A Cat

April 17th, 2019

There are so many things to love about owning a cat. Aside from being beautiful and intelligent, cats are perfect companions for a lazy morning in bed, and they are great for curling up with in front of a fire.

Spending time with our feline companions can also decrease stress and anxiety we are often confronted with in our everyday lives.  Whether you’re a social butterfly, or a quiet introvert, the benefits of owning a cat are abundant.

If you already have a cat,  or if you’re planning on adopting a new feline  companion soon, here are even more great reasons to love and own cats.

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Your Pet’s Fear Free Experience

March 20th, 2019

At Berkeley Veterinary Center, a Fear Free experience for you and your furry friends is of utmost priority to us. Did you know that our staff and doctors have undergone special training to ensure that your pet’s stress, anxiety, and fear is kept as minimal as possible during their visit?

Learn about all the extra things we do at our Fear Free Certified facility to make your pet’s experience a great one!

It’s the Little Things

There are so many things that go into helping each pet who enters our practice feel at ease. Fear Free is about adapting to the needs of each individual patient. For example, a food-loving lab is going to require a much different approach than a terrified kitty!

Some of the things that we do to decrease fear, anxiety, and stress in our patients may include:

Treats, treats, and more treats — We utilize food as a reward and a distraction for many of our patients. This helps us to earn their trust and is often enough to keep a pet preoccupied during their exam. Special high value treats like spray cheese and peanut butter are always on hand, but you are encouraged to bring along your pet’s favorites. Be sure your pets arrive to their appointment hungry!

Pheromones everywhere — While you may not notice them, your dog or cat is sure to take note of the pheromone diffusers throughout our hospital. Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs help to put our patients at ease.

Getting down — Getting down on your pet’s level helps to create a sense of calm in many of our patients. Don’t be surprised to see us down on the floor. We may also get creative about performing procedures where your pet is most comfortable, such as in someone’s arms or up on one of our chairs. It’s all about getting things done safely and without anxiety.

A smelly undertaking — We hope that you notice the absence of smells in our hospital when you walk in. Your pet is sure to notice as well. We take extra care to remove odors that may cause nose-blindness or feed fear in the animals who visit.

No dogs allowed — Almost nothing is scarier for our feline patients than being greeted face-to-face by an unfamiliar and most unwelcome dog. The barking, smells, and general commotion that comes with canines can increase stress and anxiety in our cat patients.  Separate dog and cat entrances into the hospital, separate dog and cat waiting rooms, and a cat-only exam room help to minimize this.

A considerate approach — You may wonder why we don’t just jump in and get the job done. Moving slowly and using a pet’s body language to gauge how they are feeling can help us to get more accomplished during your pet’s visit with less stress and anxiety.  

Calming sounds — Sometimes the sounds at a veterinary hospital can be disconcerting for already anxious animals. We do our best to minimize these, often using calming music to help.

Prioritizing wants vs needs — We may have a laundry list of things that we hope to accomplish during your pet’s visit, but your pet will likely have some different ideas. We do our best to prioritize the things that “need” to happen, saving the things that we “want” to happen for last. This allows us to provide the best medicine for your pet, while making good judgements about when to push on and when to maybe try under different circumstances another day.

Fear Free is Our Goal

A Fear Free experience is very important to us. It is a rewarding feeling to work with your pets in a stress-free environment. Creating this experience for our pet patients is rewarding because it helps to build a sense of trust in the dogs and cats we treat and makes them want to see us again. It also allows us to see their true personalities, and to get to know them better.

If you have questions or want to learn more about Fear Free, please give us a call. We would love to meet you and your pet. You can also find more information on Fear Free at FearFreePets.com.  

Puppies, Kittens, and Cuteness Overload: New Pet Care Tips from the Pros

February 20th, 2019

Welcoming a new puppy or kitten into your family is probably one of the cutest, sweetest, and most delightful experiences in life. It’s also a major lifestyle adjustment! Young animals require around-the-clock attention, and providing them with the right amount of love, exercise, socialization, and training are only a handful of the many components of new pet care.

Whether you adopted a puppy or kitten over the holidays or you’re planning to get one in the near future, the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center has you covered with our new pet care tips!

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Berkeley Veterinary Center’s Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

January 23rd, 2019
Fear free veterinary care can have a positive impact on pet health.

2019 is upon us, and we’re looking forward to a new year. It’s exciting to think ahead to all the upcoming goals, challenges, and triumphs that hopefully await us. Surely many of us are already hitting the gym more often, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, and spending more time with our loved ones (including our pets!).

Don’t get us wrong, 2018 was filled with wonderful moments for our staff, and many of those were with our Bayville area patients and clients. So, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we wanted to share one more look back with you. Our monthly blog has been a privilege to research, write, and publish this year, and we’re flattered that so many of you are reading it. To that end, we’re looking back at Berkeley Veterinary Center’s top 5 pet care blogs of 2018, and we hope you enjoy!

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It’s that Time of Year! Sweet Holiday Pet Traditions Everyone Loves

December 18th, 2018
Holiday pet traditions can make holidays with pets fun!

Most of us place a lot of value on family traditions this time of year, like caroling, making gingerbread houses, or binging holiday movies together. In fact, we often strive to top our experience from the previous year! The point is, making holiday memories is fun and important.

Since it’s natural to want to get the whole family involved, holiday pet traditions are becoming more and more popular among pet owners. Looking for some ideas for your own two- and four-legged loved ones? You’re in luck!

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Pet Diabetes: Is Your Pet At Risk?

November 28th, 2018


Millions of people around the world are living with, or know someone living with diabetes. Yet, in spite of how pervasive this disease has become in our society, many pet owners are surprised to learn that their four-legged friends are also susceptible to the disease. Moreover, just like its human counterpart, diagnosis of pet diabetes is also experiencing a steady rise.

While the rise of pet diabetes is indeed an alarming fact, the overall prognosis for those diagnosed with the disease is looking better than ever, thanks in part to an increased understanding of the disease as it pertains to pets and in the treatment options available to veterinarians and owners, alike. Your team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is not only committed to raising awareness of the risk of pet diabetes, but also providing diabetic pets with the best possible treatment for the disease.

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Nothing to Be Afraid Of: Understanding The Fear Free Veterinary Movement

October 18th, 2018
Fear free veterinary care can have a positive impact on pet health.

In 2016, Dr. Marty Becker coined the phrase “Taking the Pet out of Petrified” as he took up the mantle of the Fear Free veterinary movement. We are happy to announce that Berkeley Veterinary Center has become the first Fear Free certified practice in the state of New Jersey! We’re so excited to share this veterinary approach with everyone.  

What is a Fear Free Veterinary Practice?

The fear free movement began when surveys of pet owners showed that pets weren’t getting the care they need at their veterinarian largely because pets were afraid of going there. Pet owners want to do the very best they can for their pets, but when your cat yowls in the car all the way to the vet’s office, or your dog shakes like a leaf (or bites!) during the entire visit, it becomes difficult to even come in once a year.

Enter: the fear free movement, which endeavors to help practice teams, veterinarians, and pet owners come together to help pets be less stressed before, during, and after their veterinary visits, and thus get the regular preventive care they need to lead healthier and longer lives.

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Dollars and Pets: What to Know About Pet Insurance

September 19th, 2018

Pet insurance can help you afford the cost of veterinary careIf your pet was injured and needed to be hospitalized tomorrow, could you afford the bill?

We all want to do the very best we can for our pets. After all, they’re members of our family! And we’re fortunate that in this day and age, we have access to very advanced veterinary care for our pets. From cancer treatment, to life saving oxygen, to surgical procedures and more, it’s possible to treat almost all injuries and illnesses our pets may encounter.

This advanced care comes with a cost, though. And with veterinary expenses averaging $1800 per year, per pet, it’s easy to see why veterinary care might put a significant financial strain on many families.

This is where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance can bridge the gap between needed care and cost, pet insurance is designed to offset the financial burden of unexpected illness or injury to our pets. But, does it make sense for you? It’s important to weight the costs and benefits so that you can begin to make a decision for your personal situation. Read the rest of this entry »