We get a lot of questions here at Companion Animal Clinic, and we welcome them all!  To save you some time, we have some of the more frequently asked questions and answers listed below.  Click on a question and see if we can help you right here!  If not, always feel free to visit our Contact Page.





What plants are poisonous to my animals?

Examples of indoor houseplants/flower arrangements: varieties of lilies, pointsettias, certain varieties of ferns and philodendrons.

Examples of some found in outdoor gardens: rhododendron, azalea, oleander, foxglove, kalanchoe, green parts of tomato plants.

Please see the ASPCA’s toxic and non-toxic plants for a more extensive listing.

What are foods that are poisonous to my animals?

– Chocolate (baker’s, semi-sweet, milk and dark chocolate)
– Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered expresso beas)
– Moldy or spoiled food
– Onions, onion powder, garlic
– Yeast dough
– Grapes and raisins
– Macademia nuts
– Chewing gum containing xylitol

What over the counter pain medication can I give my pet?

Pets are much more sensitive to over the counter non steroidal anti-inflammatories (ex. aspirin, ibuprofen/Advil, acetaminophen/Tylenol) than humans. Giving these medications could potentially cause stomach and intestinal ulceration and bleeding, reduce the ability for blood to clot, and reduce blood supply to the kidneys possibly leading to kidney failure. Cats are more sensitive to these drugs than dogs so it takes a smaller dose to be harmful.

Please consult with your veterinarian as there are veterinary approved pain medications that are safer for your pet.

I think my pet has fleas, what should I do?

Your dog or cat could have picked up fleas from another pet, a wild animal, or a contaminated object.  The best defense, of course, is an offense.  Treat your pet monthly with a topical flea medication to avoid picking up the pests in the first place.  We highly recommend Frontline because it is a safe product, and we implore clients to use caution with other OTC products such as Harts liquid repellant.  Please feel free to contact the clinic if you have questions about a specific flea product.  Frontline also does a terrific job of managing a current flea infestation.  Be sure to thoroughly wash your pet’s bedding.  If you believe large parts of your home may have been compromised by the infestation, consult an exterminator.

For more information, see http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/vetec/data/articlestandard//vetec/112007/411161/article.pdf

My cat is urinating outside of the litter box, what can I do about it?

Inappropriate eliminations can be a very frustrating issue for cat owners.  First, be sure to consult with your vet.  It could be a side effect of a UTI, which could be resolved with antibiotics.  If the urinations appear to be related to a behavioral problem, your vet can also refer you to a specialist.

For more information, see http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/vetec/data/articlestandard//vetec/012008/573511/article.pdf

My pet is overweight, should I be concerned?

While rotund dogs and cats are no less adorable than their more slender brothers and sisters, they do face some very real health risks.  Diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer are linked with obesity.  Be sure to discuss these issues with your vet, and for tips on implementing a weight-loss plan for your cat, see http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/firstline/data/articlestandard//firstline/382008/551293/article.pdf and for your dog see http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/firstline/data/articlestandard//firstline/382008/551274/article.pdf

How can I make my cat’s trip to the clinic less stressful?

Cats, particularly those who live totally indoors, may find car rides exceedingly stressful.  While you might be tempted to hold your cat in the car in an effort to comfort him or her, you should always utilize a carrier.

Carriers ensure the safety of both owner and pet.  For tips on making the carrier less frightening for your cat, see http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/vetec/data/articlestandard//vetec/432011/745322/article.pdf.

What is the best way to train my puppy/dog?

Dog obedience classes are a terrific way to build a trusting relationship between you and your pet.  Obedience clubs or kennel clubs offer classes at a variety of skill levels, and county 4-H organizations provide kids with the chance to learn along with their four-legged friends.

Also, be sure to consult this hand-out regarding training DON’Ts http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/data/articlestandard/vetmed/292011/730987/veterinary_behavior_myths.pdf