How does your pet help you cope?

We’ve known for a while – forever? – that pets can be a real help to people when it comes to dealing with trauma and working out emotional problems, getting through sad times, and so on. This fact has spurred a real expansion of different kinds of pet-therapy programs in a variety of different, from mental-health clinics to prisons.

Theresa Slayton, a licensed clinical social worker from Lafayette, Indiana, provides therapy and counseling to both kids and  adults who are coping with stressful emotional issues. “I’ve had adults, as well as children, who project their feelings on to the dog. Shelly [her dog] can sense that someone will be struggling and will walk over and lay her paw on the person’s lap.”

For more information about animal-assisted therapy, call Theresa Slayton at (765) 449-1759, or visit the Caring Paws website at

Overweight and obese dogs and cats on the rise

According to the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity, as Americans get bigger, so do our pets! 34.2% of Americans over age 20 were overweight as of 2008, and another 33.8% were obese, numbers taken from studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, a 2009 national survey of vets across the U.S. found that 45% of dogs and 58% of cats were overweight or obese. Those numbers revealed a 2% increase in dog weight problems from the year before, and a 5% increase for cats.

The cause are exactly the same for pets as for humans: eating too much and not moving enough. And just like for their two-legged owners, there are plenty of things you can and do to help prevent pudgy pets.

Human dieting tips are a good place to start, according to Stephanie Pappas, senior writer for LiveScience. That means counting calories via weight-tracking and meal planning, smarter more nutritional choices of pet food and exercise being foremost among them. Check out her full article for even more tips, tricks and techniques for helping your furry friend get fit.

Cats and Collars?

About three out of four cats seem to be okay with wearing collars, according to the results of a recent Ohio State University study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In the six-month study, almost 60% of feline tolerance of collars exceeded owners’ expectations that their cat would keep the collar on without much trouble. The authors of the study also advised pet owners that proper fitting, with room for two fingers between the neck and the collar, is critical…and that microchipping cats remains a useful backup identification method.

Convincing cat owners that their pets, even indoor-only cats, need identification is “a tremendous uphill battle,” the study’s lead author said. But “a collar with an ID tag is probably a cat’s greatest chance of ever being re-homed or brought back if it is lost.”

New Lymphoma Treatment Shows Promise In Dogs

This is really exciting news. Lymphoma is a problem in many species. Any gain is good for us all. Researchers at the University of Illinois have identified a new target for the treatment of lymphoma and are testing a potential new drug in pet dogs afflicted with the disease. At low doses, the compound, called S-PAC-1, arrested the growth of tumors in three of six dogs tested and induced partial remission in a fourth.
Read the full article

A Passion for Healthy Pets

The Animal Family TeamAfter years as North Brady Animal Hospital, we decided to change our name to Animal Family Veterinary Care Center. Our staff has always considered you and your pets as part of our family. Our new name reflects our passion for your pets—they are treated like members of our family.

Animal Family represents the wide range of species for which we care. From canines to cockatiels, from felines to ferrets, from bearded dragons to bears…they are all part of our Animal Family. Our care goes well beyond just making the sick better. We are truly a Veterinary Care Center.

And our commitment to our patients now includes being online, in a variety of ways: