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All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care


All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care

You should select a "family" veterinarian who is familiar with the species you have chosen. Your local veterinary associations, friends, and neighbors, or the yellow pages can help you find the right veterinarian for you and your animals. You may have to speak with several veterinarians before you find the right one for your circumstances. Staying with one veterinary group allows them to get to know you and your animal and provides continuity of care for your animals.


Physical examination

Animals do not always let us know when something is wrong until the disease is quite advanced. Many species provide only subtle signs of disease. Some of these problems can be detected early through annual examinations or more frequent examinations if any problems are seen by a caretaker. This visit is also your chance to ask any questions about your animal's health, nutrition, flea control, behavior, etc. One area often overlooked by caretakers is dental care of their animals. Dogs and cats benefit from having their teeth brushed and can develop severe dental disease before you are aware of the problem. Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning with polishing or a plan for home cleaning. Your veterinarian can also tell you if your animal is overweight. Each visit to the veterinarian provides a record of your pet’s weight that can be used to see if your pet seems to be gaining or losing weight. He/she can offer suggestions on optimal feeding or how to get your animal to lose weight.


Periodic vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats to help prevent disease. Vaccinations are especially important in puppies and kittens that are not fully able to protect themselves from serious diseases, with the specific schedule generally starting at 6-8 weeks of age and continuing until the pet is 12-16 weeks of age. These diseases can be fatal but are infrequently seen because of the widespread use of effective vaccines. Just because you have never seen these diseases does not mean you do not need to vaccinate your dog or cat because some of them can survive in the environment for long periods, waiting to be picked up by an unprotected animal. Clinics are available to provide vaccinations without examination but annual examinations are still recommended even if you choose to obtain vaccinations elsewhere.
If your veterinarian feels that your dog or cat has a problem that would be best handled by a veterinarian who specializes in that field, he/she may refer you to a specialist in cardiology, behavior, surgery, internal medicine, etc.  In case of emergency, some veterinarian will take these calls or may refer you to an emergency clinic that can provide care during hours most clinics are not staffed. If you see anything out of the ordinary (such as changes in appetite, water intake, urination, or significant change in behavior) or any obvious injury or illness, call your veterinary hospital to see if they feel an examination is needed.

Routine home check-up

You should check your pets’ body daily for lumps, cuts, swelling, or any other changes. Your veterinarian may find abnormalities that you miss, but generally animals have their veterinary physicals only once a year.Animals can't describe their difficulties, so it is important to be alert and spot problems early, and seek veterinary attention when needed.
Important Reminder:  An annual examination is always needed for the general health and maintenance of your pet. Just because your pet does not seem ill does not mean you should skip his/her annual checkup. Your veterinarian can spot problems before it’s too late.  A thorough examination would include listening to the heart, checking the teeth, ears, eyes, stomach, kidneys, liver, etc.

Remember, they can’t tell you how they feel until it’s too late so it’s up to you to take care of them.



Debunking Animal Shelter Myths

  To this day as Suffolk County's oldest humane shelter, we still hear views that tend to paint shelters in a negative light. Well today we are here to tell you the simple beautiful truth about our shelter. Here are seven such common perceptions.

Sammy and faith.jpg


1. All shelter pets available for adoption are old

This is completely untrue. Little Shelter defines puppies as any dog under a year. Right at this moment we have eight puppies we just rescued getting their vaccinations and monitoring before they are available for adoption. Over the past year we have rescued over a dozen litters of puppies as well as individual puppies. 

As of the moment we also have dozens of kittens available for adoption. Depending on the time of the year, when kitten season arrives you will often find over one hundred kittens waiting to be adopted from our shelter.

Don't shop, adopt.

2. Shelter personnel don't know enough about pets

We consider our personnel one of our greatest resources. Thy’re dedicated, love all the animals, and have even slept at the shelter through hurricanes to make sure all the animals are safe. Many of our employees are currently in school to be either vets or vet techs, or have worked with animals for numerous years. They are dedicated and observe all the animals currently at Little Shelter for hours a day, no one knows our animals better.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened." – Anatole France


3. Shelters don't have any purebreds

       The Humane Society has done extensive research and found six to eight million—cats and dogs enter shelters each year. Twenty five percent of those animals are purebreds. That is two million purebred animals entering a shelter each year. 

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” 
― Karen Davison

4. Shelter pets are dirty

A lot of the animals we receive are dirty when they come in. Either their families never took care of them or they were strays, living off the streets. As soon as they arrive in our arms they are given clean water and fresh food, they receive all their required vaccinations from a licensed vet, get a full check up by a vet.

They are all spayed and neutered, and certified groomers come in and volunteer their time to groom and clean our animals.

Come in dirty yes, leave dirty never.

5. Adoption fees are expensive.

    According to purchasing a puppy usually costs between $300 and $1,500, depending on the breed, sex, and quality. Purchasing a show quality puppy usually costs between $1,500 and $5,000 -- but can go up to $15,000

Little Shelter adoption fees for dogs are $125 if over a year, and $175 if under a year. Little Shelter adoption fees for cats are $100 for one cat or $150 for two cats.

This adoption fee includes microchipping, up-to-date vaccinations, spay or neutering, and a small bag of food.

Buying a pet from a pet store does not include any of this so your costs will be 2-85 times more expensive than adopting a pet from a shelter. 

Save a life and save money.


6. Shelter pets have behavioral problems

Most believe that if a pet is in our shelter their must be something wrong with it. Are you kidding? Numerous pets we rescue are actually family pets that are either left behind upon moving, or are dumped at local shelters. Many pets we receive are often better behaved and trained then some of our staffs personal pets at home.

You will never find a perfect pet, much like you wont find a perfect person, all require time and attention to be at their best behavior.

7. Animal shelters are sad places

This is purely based upon your perspective. Would you rather see these animals out on the street with nothing to eat, and freezing or see them in our shelter with fresh food and a warm bed? We may not be their true forever home but we have our animals have regular play dates with other animals, give them toys, bones, and play with them ourselves. 

Also as a true no-kill shelter, none of our animals will be put to sleep ever until they find their true forever home. They are safe in our arms, and in most instances they are the ones who wind up rescuing us.


-Chris Stallone




7 Reasons You Need A Dog In Your Life

1. They help babies stay healthy by being dirty.

    We receive hundreds of phone calls a year with people telling us they have to give up their dog because they are having a baby. Yes really, it's one of the top reasons. Well guess what expecting parents a study has shown that babies with dogs are actually healthier than those without dogs. The reason is because dogs will track in dirt, mud,  thereby boosting the child’s immune system.

 So parents next time you call saying you have to surrender your dog this is no longer a valid reason. 

2. Help you stay in shape.

   A study has determined that children that have dogs are more active, than kids without dogs. With America being one of the most obese countries in the world, this is a major benefit for proponents of exercise.

3. Help you be more social.

  British Medical Journal has found dogs act as “social catalysts,” who help people get out more, approach others more easily, and overall reduce isolation. 

Now get out their and be a social butterfly with your dog.

4. Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Problems.

   The American Heart Association concluded that owning a dog, in particular, was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease. People with dogs certainly have more reason to go outside and take walks, and their presence declines peoples reactions to stress and lowers their heart rate.

  Take that Cheerios.

5. Aid With Depression.

    "Studies show that animals can reduce tension and improve mood. Along with treatment, pets can help some people with mild to moderate depression feel better. Having a dog gives you responsibility, and experts say adding responsibility can help aid depression. Dogs add new and positive focus in your life. Dogs remind you that you can do more than you might think.

6. Help Prevent Bullying.

  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "nearly a third of all students between the ages of 12 and 18-years-of-age reported being bullied at school in 2007." Lately programs have been springing up all over the country using dogs to prevent bullying.  Children identify with the dog when mistreated and transfer those feelings of compassion to their schoolmates. 

7. They empathize with human pain.

  Dogs may empathize with humans more than any other animal, including humans themselves, several new studies suggest. The Journal of Animal Cognition, found that pet dogs may truly be man (or woman's) best friend if a person is in distress. That distressed individual does not even have to be someone the dog knows.



The Chemical Benefits of Adopting A Dog

Animal lovers have been saying it for years and years, “animals make me so happy.” It turns out a new study by Dognition collected over the past few years has proven this to be exactly right. Dogs can alter your biochemistry for the better.

Our bodies produce Oxytocin naturally, it is known as the “hug hormone.” Oxytocin is responsible for making you feel good, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing stress. 

Researchers collected this data, observing individuals in a room with a dog. The study found that individuals who kissed their dogs more often had higher levels of oxytocin,  and dogs who gazed at their owners longer had higher levels of oxytocin as well. 

The researchers also had individuals spend 30 minutes with their dogs alone, they drew blood first, waited 30 minutes while participants focused their complete attention on the dogs, then drew blood again after the 30 minutes. 

“The researchers found that participants' blood pressure decreased, and they experienced an increase in not only oxytocin, but also a whole other range of hormones, including beta-endorphins, which are associated with euphoria and pain relief; prolactin, which promotes bonding associated with parenting behavior; phenylethylamine, which tends to increase when people find a romantic partner; and dopamine, which increases pleasurable sensations.”

The surprising side of the study came when the researchers discovered not only did people’s levels of these hormones increase, but the dogs did as well, forming a mutual benefit for all those involved.

If you’re looking for a mood booster, keep on kissing your dogs and looking into their loving eyes. If this is not an option for you, because you don’t have a dog, consider adopting a dog at a shelter today. It will benefit both of your moods.