With so many ideas about appropriateness, safety, and effectiveness, how do you decide?

Fortunately, the rabies virus is well controlled in our area, in part due to government-required rabies vaccination. All dogs in New Jersey must be vaccinated, and mandatory rabies vaccination for cats may be required by your town.

Cats that live indoors only may be at risk of getting rabies virus. It is possible, but not highly likely, that rabid wildlife may sneak into your home. Your cat may notice this before you do. And cats may have rabies and not have clinical signs. This means that you will have no way to tell if your unvaccinated cat has rabies exposure. Furthermore, rabies may be deadly to people. So we recommend rabies vaccine for our cat patients, even indoor-only cats.


The purchase price is only the start of your investment in your pup. You may spend $1.40 to $45.00 a pound for dog food. And every vendor tells you that his food is the best or unique. Think about when you go grocery shopping. You may choose hot dogs at $0.68 per pound. or ground beef at $5.00 per pound or special order a rib-eye steak for $150.00 per pound. However, we all need to make choices based on taste, nutrition, and cost.

Our recommendation for most dogs is to feed mid-priced food from a long-established brand. For example, Proplan Focus Chicken and Rice dry food is $2.37 per pound and provides good nutrition and taste. There are other food manufacturers that also have good products pet supply stores, online pharmacies, insurance companies, veterinary hospitals, dog trainers, and subscription boxes all trying to get your commitment to the part of your pup's piggy bank, monthly expenses can start adding up.

Before you tell Fido that he needs to get a job, here are some things to consider.

Most veterinarians recommend that your dog has an exam once or twice yearly. More frequent visits are needed for the very young and the very old. For many dogs, the greatest need for veterinary care is when they are puppies and when they are seniors. The majority of dogs live healthy adult lives, visiting the veterinarian only yearly. Therefore, we recommend the pay-as-you-go approach to your dog's health care, which is the choice made by most families.

Wellness packages can be a convenient way to plan your spending, but the challenges are that your pet may not need everything in that package, or your health care dollars may have been better spent on other items than your prepaid items. Pet health insurance is available from many vendors but does not cover all recommended veterinary care.

Wellness packages and pet insurance can result in another monthly bill, and who needs that? Clients who benefit from insurance are those that have severely ill or injured pets. This could be your pet, but probably won't be. What to do if you are faced with an unexpected and large veterinary bill? Care Credit is a credit card for your pet that often offers interest-free financing. And there is no cost if you are approved for Care Credit, but don't need to use it.

If you prefer to be self-insured, you could always create a savings account for your dog, and make monthly contributions (to yourself) of $1-2 per day (=$30-60 per month). This option can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your pet!


It may be tempting to skip your pet's monthly flea control in the spring, but that may not be the best way to prevent summer and fall infestations. And April showers may bring more than flowers; fleas can become very active with wet humid weather of spring You may have fleas in your house, and not know. That is because fleas spend most of their time hiding in the baseboards, furniture, and rugs. Fleas only jump on your pet while the fleas are feeding. This means, if you see fleas on your pet, there are many more fleas in your home.

In severe infestations, people and pets may both be bitten by fleas. However, fleas prefer to feed on dogs and cats. So if there are enough pets to satisfy the meal preferences of the fleas, you may not know fleas are in your home. Fleas in your home can multiply quickly. Every two weeks, you may get a new generation of fleas. Fleas that overwintered in your house may create a challenging bug management situation when they benefit from the heat and humidity of the spring. Trying to play bug control catch-up can involve many months of professional exterminator visits, in addition to veterinary quality flea control for all dogs and cats monthly year-round.

Resistance to flea control may also be an issue in some neighborhoods. If the flea could speak, he may say, 'You may have killed grandma flea with that veterinary spot-on flea control that has been used for more than a decade, but you can't kill me!' Therefore, we recommend the newer flea control pills for most of our dog patients. And we do recommend flea control year-round

We have worked with our vendors to get our clients excellent prices on the best flea control, so please call us to get your pet's protection

Your referrals are our best compliments!

New Clients - present this coupon when checking in to get $25 off your pet's exam - $69 value (Expires 7-1-21)

Your pet's preventive care is due

Total Pet Hospital

1100 US HWY 9

Howell, NJ 07733


Maureen Kubisz DVM

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