Dental Health Food Success Story

Dental Health Food Success Story

A few years ago, Dr. Helfer, a doctor on our GVH team, had a pet with severe dental disease. The cat, a beautiful Siamese, was in repeatedly for dental procedures because of how severe the dental disease was. Medically, the patient needed a dental cleaning every 6 to 8 months. Shortly after, Hill’s Science Diet, came out with t/d, a dental health food and she began feeding t/d to her cat.  Six months later, Dr. Helfer was amazed to find that her pet’s teeth looked as good as the day she did the last dental cleaning.  After exclusively eating t/d the kitty never needed another dental cleaning and was able to live a healthy life.  Though this is not always the case, the doctors of GVH believe t/d is a great choice to help fight dental disease.


Dr. Helfer also finds that her patients love the taste of the food. Because of the large size of the kibble it helps pets to eat slower which helps with digestion.  t/d is safe for patients that have been on Hill’s Science Diet c/d for a period of time and are doing well with their urinary issues.



This is how t/d kibble works!

When it’s time to say goodbye

We understand that your pet is a member of your family – a very special friend with whom you have made many wonderful memories.  It is important you and your family know all of the options when it is time to say goodbye.

Our hospital works with Abbey Glen, providing after life care to pets since 1976.  Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Park is a beautiful pet cemetery located on 14 acres in Northern New Jersey.

When the time comes, contact our office to help with your pet’s final care.  We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family.  Our compassionate team is here for you whether you elect to stay with your pet or to leave your pet in our care during the procedure.  Either way it is important that you meet with the veterinarian prior to the procedure.

After life care for your pet can be provided with the following options:

At Home Burial

  • If you would like to bury your pet at home, check with the local municipalities regarding the rules for your location.

Communal Cremation

  • If you elect communal cremation, Abbey Glen will cremate your pet and spread your pet’s ashes on their 14 beautiful acres of land in Northern New Jersey.  You are always welcome to visit your pet’s ashes at their pet cemetery.

Private Cremation

  • If you would prefer to have your pet’s ashes returned to you, you can select private cremation.  Your pet’s ashes will be cremated by Abbey Glen and returned to our office in a beautiful cedar urn.  You will receive a certificate and gold plate with your pet’s name engraved on it.

Other Options Available

  • Abbey Glen provides many other beautiful options for remembering your “best friend”.  Please ask our team members for assistance.
Resolutions From the Cat

Resolutions From the Cat

With the New Year’s Day approaching, I decided it was time to start taking better care of myself and improve my behavior so that you would be proud of me.  So I have been contemplating how best to improve myself. Since I am trying to start the New Year by bettering myself, I will start by being honest. I really got the idea of making a list of New Year’s resolutions from the dog.

Top 5 New Year’s resolutions from the cat:

Resolution #1 – I will take all my medication without clawing or biting you.

I promise to take my medication without a fight. I will not be happy about it, but I promise to not bite or claw at you. I would love it if you could get some pill pockets or maybe some yummy, smelly wet food so taking my medication would be more enjoyable for me. I will need you to understand that after a few days my patience may start to wane and it may be necessary to wrap me in a blanket to keep my paws and jaws of destruction from injuring you. This resolution will be he hardest for me so please be patient with me and understand if I fail.

Medicating Your Cat


Resolution #2 – I will keep myself fit and healthy.

I promise to keep myself fit and lean. Even though sleeping in a sunny spot is the only thing I want to do during the winter months, I promise to get up and move. I will play with appropriate items, such as cat toys and my fellow friends (furry and non-furry), and stay away from items that are not healthy for me like string and small toys. I will also eat a reasonable portion of food but I will need you to remind what a proper portion of food is. I will try not to beg for more or sneak snacks that I find.  I remember how sick I was the night I stole the pork chop, and don’t ever want to be that ill ever again.  I will do my best to get up and move if you do your best of feed me a healthy diet in proper portions.

Common Questions About Diabetes in My Pet

Resolution #3 – I will behave before, during and after my visits to the veterinary hospital.

I promise to allow you to place me in my carrier to get safely to the hospital. During the drive I will do my best to not urinate or defecate in my carrier. Sometimes I get really nervous and it just happens so I can’t promise this will not ever happen, but I will try my best. While at the Veterinary hospital, I will willingly get out of my carrier and when the doctor comes in and let him or her examine me without sinking my sharp teeth and claws into him or her. I will allow them to examine my ears, eyes, and belly. You know how much I hate those parts touched. So, you could bring along my favorite treats or tell me how well I am doing it.  It would help make the visit less stressful.

Stress Relief For Your Cat With Feliway

Resolution #4 – I will use my litter box.

I promise to use my litter box and not mark all over the house. This is at times both of our faults. I promise to use my litter box if you promise to keep it clean and make sure that I am healthy including spaying or neutering me. I feel I can follow thru with this one but, if you notice that I am marking thru the house can you please take me to the veterinarian right away. I may have a urinary infection or be upset about something and the sooner we get the problem fixed the sooner we both will be happy.


Resolution #5 – I will not leave cold wet hairballs where you can step on them on the good clean carpet.

I can’t promise to never regurgitate a hairball, so the best I can do is try to keep them out of your foot path and off the good carpet. I also will do my best to not make the horrid sound in the middle of the night while you sleep. I am still very sorry about the time I brought one up on your hair. But, we both were sleeping and it caught us both off guard. Yes, this really did happen to my owner who is helping type this article for me.  

How to Prevent and Treat Hairballs

I will do my best to keep my New Year’s resolutions with your help. So I promise to take all my medication without a fight, keep myself fit and health, behave at the veterinary hospital, use my litter box, and try to keep my hairballs under control. I will need you to give me my medication regularly in a calm environment, feed me a healthy diet, speak calmly to me during my visits to the veterinarian, keep my litter box clean, and help keep my fur clean and free of excess loose fur. If we work together we can have a happy and healthy new year!

National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th!  Did you know that nearly 500,000 pets are involved in a house fire each year? With about 1,000 of them started by homeowners pets! This is a day to spread awareness about, not only how to keep your pet(s) safe during a house fire, but also how your pets themselves could potentially start one!

National Pet Fire Safety Day Logo

The most important thing to keep in mind if you suspect a fire – if the home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets!  Evacuate quickly and safely.  Be sure to follow the fire safety personnel’s orders when they arrive on scene!  They know how to properly enter a burning house – it’s what they are trained to do!  Lucky for me, my best friend is a firefighter! He gave some great advice about fire safety for pets (and people):


    • Ways to inform firemen about the pet(s) in your home besides the fire safety sticker in the window. You can inform the local fire department about the pet(s) in your home by submitting a letter listing all the information about your pet(s). This letter should include information such as type of pet, location of pet, etc.
    • How can you keep yourself safe and rescue your pet? How do you know when a fire is unsafe to re-enter? In the event of a house fire, it is very important for you to reach safety immediately. Some ideas to make it easier and safe to rescue you and your pet from danger is to always sleep near your pet(s) or have them located near an exit in your home.  For the times that you’re away from home, you should always keep a form of identification on your pet(s) such as a collar, as well as keeping them near an exit, making it easier for Emergency Responders to find and rescue your pet(s). Once you have reached safety outside of your home, you must remain there until the Fire Department arrives, and you can inform them of any possible pet(s) that may have been left inside your home. DO NOT endanger your life by re-entering your house in the event of a fire!
    • What is one thing you wish pet owners knew about house fires? The most important thing is to get everyone IMMEDIATELY evacuated to safety and to never re-enter the house, even if that means leaving things behind. Also, I encourage every homeowner to have working smoke detectors in their homes, giving them an early warning, making it faster to get everyone to safety.

Peyton the Dalmatian hanging out at the fire house


There are many ways to evacuate your pet(s) and keep them safe in the case of a fire:

      • Display a Rescue Alert sticker. This sticker will let the firemen know what kind of pets you have and how many you have.
      • You should also make note or know your pet(s) favorite hiding places. This will ensure the firemen are able to search in these specific places first for your pet(s).
      • Be sure to always have identification on your pet. You should include your name, your phone number, and their Rabies information. This is important in case any of your pets evacuate without anybody seeing, they can then be returned to you when it is safe.
      • Prepare an emergency first aid kit for your pets. This should include medications your pet takes, bandages, blankets, treats, toys, extra leashes, carries, and most importantly a recent picture of your pet. For further emergency kit information, please visit our blog for how to be prepared for an emergency.
      • Keep leashes near an easy accessible exit door. This will ensure the firefighters are able to remove your pet(s) from your home safely.
      • If you keep your pet(s) in crates while you are at work or not home, be sure the crates are near a door they are able to exit the house quickly.
      • Always have a “Safe Haven” for your pets. This is going to be a caregiver/place they can stay safe while you are not able to stay in your home. This could be a boarding facility, a family member or friend’s house.

There are many reasons home fires may start. Did you ever think your pet(s) could cause one? There are a few ways that pet(s) can start fires in your home. Things that you should be aware of are:

      • Open flamed candles are the biggest concern! Pets are able to knock over open flame candles that can easily start a fire in your home. Flameless candles are the best pet friendly candles to keep your home smelling nice!
      • If your pet(s) are able to access the knobs on your stove, cover them up! Be sure they are safely covered so that your pet(s) are not able to turn them.
      • Check your home for other potential hazards that could start a fire. This could include loose wires, piles of paper, rubber, etc.

Alli Bortz, GVH Client Care Specialist





Celebrating The Bond…Man’s Best Friend

Celebrating The Bond…Man’s Best Friend

Unconditional love. Pure and simple.  It’s a special bond.  That’s what my pets mean to me.  Even though my wife and I have been married for nearly 27 years, we never had any children.  Our current menagerie of pets are our kids.  I’m talking about Gilligan, Bahama, Gidget, and Mulan.

Gilligan is my guy, my son, and my ultimate best friend.  He’s a 3 ½ year old long-haired dachshund who is a very sweet fellow and servant leader to our other pets.  Don’t tell anybody, but Gilligan likes to suck on the corner of his security blanket while sleeping.

Next comes, Bahama.  She is one of my three daughters.  Actually, Bahama is Gilligan’s 5-year-old aunt who loves to give kisses and be held…constantly!

Gidget is the baby in the family.  She’s a 7-month old long-haired dachshund who in the words of Dr. Hanlon is a “Noodlehead.” Gidget is possessed with personal demons and insanely energetic.  It’s Gidget’s good looks and charming personality that keeps her out of trouble.

Last but not least, is Mulan.  Mulan is my 16 ½ year old Siamese cat.  When Gilligan arrived, Mulan finally found her Siamese voice and has been talking non-stop for the past 3 ½ years!

My pet’s don’t care what my job title is, how much money I earn, or what material things I own.  Rather, they love me for being me.   Whether it’s time for “Couch Club”, a walk outside, or cuddling, spending time with me is all they care about.  I am truly blessed, honored, and humbled to be their dad – GVH Client, Joe Zagerman.

Joe with his furry family

The Zagermans – it’s a special bond….(pictured from top left clockwise):

Gilligan, Bahama, Mulan, and Gidget.




Music Aids Pets Recovery

Music Aids Pets Recovery

Gabe with HeadphonesTake a moment and make a mental list of all the times you hear music throughout your day. Many of you listen to music in the car, possibly at work, while exercising and in your home. It is a large part of our daily lives and it has the ability to excite us, help us focus and even to calm us. Recent studies have found that while music can affect us, it can also affect our pets. By using music, many of you at home have the ability to aid in the recovery or healing of your pets. A research study found that music can mask sudden, distressing noises that could negatively impact your pet’s recovery and well-being. While research has not identified what specific genre is generally most effective, it is agreed upon by researchers that when using music to relax an animal, softer and relaxing music is more effective (classical) compared to the genres of pop and heavy metal. The use of other sounds, such as static or white noise has also proven to have beneficial effect on an animal’s recovery period compared to a specific genre.

One must use caution, however, when implementing music during the recovery process of their pet. While it has the ability to expedite the process of healing through relaxation, it also has the ability to over stimulate and possible induce more stress. Studies found that noise such as loud radio music at 70-80 decibels had a negative effect on dogs’ blood glucose levels. Many researchers urge pet-owners to keep the level of noise around or below 60 decibels, which is equivalent to low conversation. Here at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital, we want what’s best for you and your pets. In order to ensure the most comfortable environment for your pet, we will be implementing the use of music and other white noise in our recovery area to create a calm, warm and relaxing space during your pet’s post-surgical recovery experience – Abigail R. Hanlon, Music Therapy Major, Marywood University.

Pin It on Pinterest