Ask Dr. Anna

Dog Laws 101— An Introduction to Common Dog Laws and Ordinances

dog lawsBy Stefani Fortney  I see it often. A dog owner who was unaware of the laws about pets in their community takes to social media to voice their concerns and complaints about why their precious dog has gotten into trouble with local police, sheriff, or animal control. Most times, it’s hard for me to understand why a person who has a dog wouldn’t go to the trouble of finding out what local laws govern their ownership, care, and responsibilities for their dog and its interaction with the community. Most communities have laws that outline what is expected from your dog and you. I’m going to touch on a few of the most common dog laws and why they’re important to follow to not be a nuisance or danger to your community. Continue…

Cat Toys: The Good, The Bad, and the Dangerous

cat toysBy Stacey Frazier  Let me start by saying that ANY HUMAN BODY PART is a BAD IDEA for a cat toy! Wiggling your fingers or toes for kitty may start out cute but can end horribly, mostly for you. Not only is there the immediate concern of getting scratched or bitten but it tells the kitten it is ok to attack their humans or any humans. The best cat toys are the ones that engage the cat without putting the animal, their human, or their household in danger. Continue…

5 Ways To Stop Puppy Biting

puppy biting

Nobody wants to deal with a snapping, biting puppy even if they are just playing.  Puppy biting occurs for two reasons.  First, their vision is not fully developed, and they are trying to figure out the world around them.  Second, they are teething between three and six months of age.  Dr. Anna Coffin gives some common-sense tips for puppy biting to ensure a lifetime of safe and healthy interactions with your dog. Continue…

Dental Care For Dogs: Keeping Teeth Pearly White

dental care for dogsFebruary is Dental Health Month and for a good reason.  Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in veterinary medicine.  Therefore, daily dental care for dogs is an important part of keeping your pet’s teeth clean.



If your pet has bad breath, it is likely that your pet has dental disease.  If left untreated, dental disease will progress to pain, tooth loss and even organ problems. Continue…

Dogs With Allergies: Scratching The Surface

dogs with allergiesBy Stefani Fortney  Hello, human people! I am Mani the Perfect Pittie. I’ve stolen Mom’s laptop again so I can write this article. There are lots of things that she knows, but this subject is one that I’ve had to deal with my whole life: dogs with allergies. As an American Pit Bull Terrier, I’m genetically predisposed to allergy problems. On top of that, my beautiful fur is a color called “blue.” For a while, people bred my ancestors especially for this color—but that led to even more genetic issues. Mom understood when she brought me home that, due to irresponsible breeding, I could have allergies, as well as other health problems.

Here’s some stuff that I wish everyone knew about dogs with allergies.

  1. Allergies make me itch.

When human people have allergies, it shows up as nose and eye problem most of the time. When dogs have allergies, it usually shows up by making us super-itchy. When I have an allergy flare-up, my feet itch so badly. I lick them to try to make it better, but the itch doesn’t stop. Allergies make everything itch. I would keep Mom awake all night, scratching and shaking my ears. I’d scratch so much and so hard, I’d lose my hair and make my skin bleed.

  1. Untreated/Unmanaged Allergies Can Cause Infections

Before Mom figured out how to control my allergies, I used to get skin infections and ear infections all the time. I’d get these sore little bumps on my skin, my hair would fall out, and my ears would get stinky and sore. Then, I’d have to take antibiotics and get medicine goo squirted in my ears. It was no fun. Plus, it seemed like every time I got better, the allergies would just get bad again. It was what Mom called a “cycle.”

  1. There are Medications To Control Allergies

When I first started having my allergy problems, Mom tried giving me over-the-counter medicine like Benadryl and Zyrtec to help. She said that those things work for some dogs. For me, they didn’t. I would have to take steroids. Even though they worked, Mom didn’t want me to take them all the time, because the side effects can be bad. Finally, the medication people made a special prescription medicine called Apoquel. It’s especially for dogs with allergies. Mom said it was worth a try.

Since I started taking it, I haven’t had any skin infections at all! It’s so great—I feel like a normal dog. No bad itching, no losing my beautiful fur, no keeping Mom up at night! I’ve been on it for a year, now. I’m so much happier!

If you have a dog with allergies, call Dr. Coffin today to make an appointment—your dog will love you for it!

Cats And Seasonal Affective Disorder

cats and seasonal affective disorderBy Stacey Frazier   Is your kitty singing the blues?  This time of year can be emotionally difficult for people. The upbeat, busy pace of the holidays has given way to the dreary, listless winter month of January. The temperatures have dropped, the hours of sunlight are reduced, and sometimes it is just hard to find a reason to get out of bed. For people, this can lead to a condition known as Season Affective Disorder. Many people suffer from mood altering symptoms because of physical changes in their body that occur during periods of reduced sunlight. Many veterinarians have begun to recognize cats and seasonal affective disorder. Continue…

Health And Wellness In 2017: Get Your Pet To The Perfect Weight

health and wellnessThe holiday season is about over – it is a busy time of year for festivities, family and of course, lots of eating!  Did you know that if a ten-pound cat ate just one ounce of cheddar cheese from your appetizers, it would be the same as if a person ate three and a half hamburgers or four chocolate bars?  Gaining those holiday pounds is not just a problem for humans, but also for our four-legged friends.  Maintaining our pet’s weight is an important part of their health and wellness. Continue…

Fire Hydrant-side Chat: New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs

dogsThis post was written by Mani the Perfect Pittie for all the dogs out there! Please read this aloud for illiterate pups, or allow educated Rovers to read for themselves.

Hey there, fellow pups! Did you know it’s almost time for a new year to start? I’m sure you’ve heard about how rotten 2016 has been. Maybe you’ve had a not-so-great year, too. My Mom got stressed out because of something called “elections,” then she stopped giving me ice cream because the doggie doctor said I was chubby. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this year to go bye-bye. I watch TV all day while Mom is at work and I’ve heard a bunch of people talking about New Year’s resolutions. I decided I should make some for myself so I can be an even better dog next year. (It has been documented that I’m already at “good dog” status.)

Mani’s New Year Resolutions For Dogs:

Resolution #1: Be less chubby.

Doggie doctor says I need to lose a little weight. I don’t understand why this might be important, but it makes Mom worried. So, in 2017, we’re going to walk more, eat carrots instead of cookies, and always use a measuring cup to make sure I’m only getting as much food as I’m supposed to, according to the guidelines on the food bag. I think this will be no fun, but I love my Mom, and I want to make her happy. She said we could play more fun games, too. I like that.

Resolution #2: Lower Stress Levels

Mom got anxious a lot this year, and that stressed me out, too. To reduce the stress in our house, I’ve decided to tell Mom to play with me and pet me more. By getting off her phone and away from the TV, we’ll both be happier and healthier. Did you know that science says that petting a dog is a good way to feel calmer and better? I think going for more walks and playing outside with me will help Mom get stressed less, too.

Resolution #3: Learn Stuff

I’m smart. I know all about food and digging and barking at stuff. This year, I want to learn more about the stuff Mom thinks is important… like not begging for table scraps, not barking at invisible stuff, being “obedient,” and keeping my teeth off of the couch. I think I might even ask Mom about doing some training at home. I know she teaches other dogs and their people when she’s at work, so I bet she could help me learn, too.

So—those are my New Year’s Resolutions. What are yours? My mom wants to help other dogs reach their New Year resolutions by offering 10% off obedience training at Guthrie Pet Hospital during the month of January.  Maybe I will see you there.

5 Ways To Help Your Dog With Arthritis

arthritis pet pain managementTwenty percent of all dogs are affected by arthritis.  Arthritis is a progressive disease that worsens over time, so it is important to keep your pet as comfortable as possible and minimize pain so that they can function as normally as possible.  Dr. Anna Coffin will discuss ways to help your dog with arthritis. Continue…

Holiday Safety Tips For Pets: Happy Howl-idays:

holiday safety tipsBy Stefani Fortney ABDT, groomer and trainer  The holiday season is upon us. For us human-types, this time of year can be great. Presents, fancy meals, decorations, nostalgia, and family all come together to give us the warm fuzzies. For our pets, though, the holidays can be a time of major stress. So, as you prepare to celebrate with friends and family, try to ensure that your pets enjoy the holidays as much as you do with these holiday safety tips. Continue…

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