The veterinarians and staff at the Beach Veterinary Clinic are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

May is National Chip Your Pet Month. Here's Why You Should Microchip Your Pet.

Each year, millions of dogs and cats are lost; in fact, this disaster strikes 1/3 of all pet-owning families. Of the millions of cats and dogs that are lost, only 10% are ever identified and returned to their owners. More pets lives are lost because owners did not identify them than from all infectious diseases combined.

All pets should wear traditional collars with identification and rabies vaccination tags. A traditional collar, however, is not enough. These collars are often worn loosely and are easily removed. Cat collars are designed to break off if the animal is caught in a tree branch. When the traditional collar is lost, removed, or breaks off, nothing is left to identify the pet...unless, of course, the pet has a microchip.

Microchips are rapidly becoming a very popular method for identifying pets. Once the microchip is inserted, the pet is identified for life. Microchips are safe, unalterable and permanent identification for pets. The microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of a cat or dog, in much the same way that a vaccine is administered. The microchip is coded with a unique 10-digit code. Each microchip that is inserted contains a unique code, specific to the individual pet.

Inserting the microchip is simple and causes minimal or no discomfort. The microchip comes pre-loaded in a syringe, ready for insertion. The entire procedure takes less than 10 seconds. Post-injection reactions are very rare and the encapsulated microchip remains in place permanently.

The scanner is a hand-held device used to detect the message encoded in the microchip. The scanner is passed over the animal, paying particular attention to the area between the shoulder blades. If a microchip is present, the 10-digit number (encoded in the capsule) is read by the scanner. Scanners are provided to animal control, humane shelters and other rescue organizations so that all stray pets are scanned and those with microchips are reunited with their owners. Veterinarians can also purchase scanners for use in their hospital.

The veterinary hospital where the microchip is implanted records the pet’s information and its unique microchip identification number. When a lost pet is found and scanned, the veterinary hospital is immediately contacted. Since most veterinary hospitals are not open 24 hours a day, it may take some time before you are notified. In addition to this standard registration, you can register your pet in your own name for a charge of $15-20. By doing this, as soon as your pet is found, you are notified.

Along with the additional registration fee, we recommend that you update your personal information with the microchip database on a regular basis. It is also advisable to have your veterinarian test the microchip on an annual basis in order to make sure that it is properly transmitting data.

How to Care for Your New Puppy or Kitten: Socialization

Congratulations on your new family member! If you are new to pet ownership or a seasoned veteran, it is important to stay up to date on proper care for your new puppy or kitten.

Proper socialization helps establish a loving and lasting relationship between you and your pet. Early in your pet's life, it is very important to deal with unfavorable habits and correct them in a productive and timely manner.

One of the best ways to train your pet is to introduce it at a young age to common social situations. Some of these may include trimming nails, bathing, brushing and medicating. By introducing these situations at a very young age, they are far more likely to be accepted by the pet later in life.

For puppies, obedience training is pretty much essential. Most trainers like to start the training process between four to six months of age, after vaccinations are complete. Many capable trainers are available to help you socialize and train your pet properly. Do your homework in order to take advantage of the training courses offered in your area. Similar to children, pets' habits, both good and bad, are learned at an early age!

VIDEO - Choosing Between a Kitten and an Adult Cat

Cute, cuddly kittens are hard to resist. But an older cat may need a home more desperately--and may be a better fit for your lifestyle. Consider the factors outlined in this video before you make your final choice.

Why Does My Dog...

Scratch the Grass on the Lawn After Pooping?

Is your lawn a mess because your dog scratches it after every time he or she poops? This may be annoying to those of us who spend our weekends taking care of the lawn, but it's normal behavior for Rover.

In the wild, canines such as wolves, dingoes and foxes are not only doing this to cover up the mess, but also to mark their territory. All canines have glands in their feet that secrete hormones, and a couple of backward scratches into the earth release the chemicals.

If you're upset that your dog is destroying your lawn, the solution is to take him for a walk several times a day.

Roll Around in Smelly Stuff?

While we aren't 100% sure why dogs like to roll in stinky stuff, many pet behaviorists believe this is an attempt to show off their most "prized possessions” to their owners. For a dog, wearing smelly stuff is like wearing the best designer-label scent.

People like smells that are fresh, floral and fragrant while dogs prefer dirty, dead and disgusting aromas.

Forget trying to prevent your dog from rolling around in the smelliest things imaginable. For you, it's awful; for dogs, it's heavenly. With thousands of years of practice ingrained, dogs will continue their stinky behavior. The only way to stop the roll-and-stink is to keep your dog on a leash or teach tech him how to come when called.

You’ve Heard Of Cat Burglars, But What About Cat Grocers?

A feline patron has made himself a home in a south London grocery store, despite the manager’s many attempts to give him the boot. The cat gained Internet stardom when shoppers began tweeting photos of the straight-faced kitty.

The orange tabby has been identified as six-year-old Olly Oliver, a nearby neighbor of the store.

Olly began inviting himself into the grocery store during November of 2015, but was ousted by authorities due to health concerns. That didn’t stop Olly, however. Although security has removed the cat several times, he finds a way to saunter back in. Human patrons routinely find him warming himself by the front door heaters or perched high atop aisle shelves.

Unlike some pets who sneak into stores to steal toys or treats, Olly’s actions have been nothing but admirable. Rather than feeding his own cravings, he simply judges others from above as they shop to feed theirs below.

The Best Pet Birds for Beginners

The thought of caring for a bird can be daunting for first-time bird owners. Birds are much different than other common household pets and require much different care. Some birds, such as large parrots, require an immense amount of time and dedication and can live for several decades or more. For those who want to introduce a bird into their home for the first time, here are the most low-maintenance species commonly available.

• Canaries - These colorful little songbirds delight, but don’t require much time when it comes to their care. Like many bird species, canaries prefer not to be handled and live just fine within the safety of their cages. They can be kept singly or in pairs.

• Cockatiels - Part of the parrot family, these familiar birds are the highest maintenance on this list. Because they are highly intelligent, they can become bored or depressed if not provided with sufficient social interaction. Two to four hours per day in the company of your cockatiel should suffice. During this time, handle your bird, provide out-of-cage play, and try teaching him or her some basic commands. A large cage and/or a bird-friendly room is recommended.

• Doves - With their soft coos, doves are both beautiful-sounding and -looking. Most do just fine with little quality time spent with their owners, but many also enjoy the interaction and will form bonds over time. Additionally, doves are said to be less messy than many other birds when it comes to cleanup.

• Finches - The winner when it comes to low-maintenance birds, finches need only a sufficient cage and two or three cage-mates to be happy. These birds don’t need (or want) to be handled and don’t need playtime outside of their cages. They prefer socializing with their finch friends much more than their human caretakers. They do, however, depend on their people for food, water, and cage cleanup – which can get messy. The reward? Their vocalizations are enjoyable and watching them is very entertaining!

• Parakeets - Also known as budgerigars or “budgies,” parakeets are one of the most common pet store birds. Budgies aren’t, however, the most low-maintenance, and fall just behind cockatiels when it comes to time needed for their care. With many living into their teen years when properly cared for, budgies require a couple hours of owner interaction, handling, and out-of-cage play each day for the best results. They can be held, trained, and some will even talk.