Traveling with Pets: A Spotlight on Summer Safety

summer safetyThe dog days of summer have arrived, and for many families that means it’s time to hit the road (or take to the skies) for the annual summer vacation. If the thought of leaving your pets behind is unthinkable, your team at Berks is here to help you plan, prepare, and enjoy your time spent traveling with your pets.

What to Pack

Just like us, our pets thrive when they have both the daily essentials as well as a few comforts from home. Besides the obvious things–such as a leash, collar, carrier, food, and water, pack up your pet’s bedding along with a favorite toy or chew.  This will go a long way toward helping him or her to feel more comfortable away from home.


A Dehydrated Pet? Not With These Prevention Tips!

Making sure your pet drinks enough water every day is important year-round, but when the heat index spikes during the summer, it becomes vital. Sure, most pets are instinctively drawn to their water dishes or fountains when hot and thirsty. However, an imbalance between water consumption and activity levels or heat exposure is not uncommon. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of a dehydrated pet and how to help.

Agua Fresca

Oh, the ways people can make simple water more delicious! Why is this? Because we know that we have to stay hydrated or suffer the effects of dehydration and heatstroke.

Pets may not necessarily agree with our additions of watermelon or rosemary sprigs, but they do tend to be drawn to water in the same way when the temperatures are scorching. Left to their own devices outdoors, pets may find bird baths, puddles, or other standing water, placing them at risk of exposure to harmful bacteria or parasites.


Leptospirosis: What Pet Owners Need to Know

leptospirosisLeptospirosis is something of a mystery to most pet owners, and yet, this bacterial disease is on the rise in many parts of the United States. Leptospirosis is a contagious illness that can affect pets and people. While cases among cats are rare, dogs are more likely to become infected.

With recent outbreaks in cities such as Phoenix, San Francisco, and New York, it’s important to raise awareness about this potentially deadly disease and how owners can protect their pets.

An Overview of Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis among pets (often called canine leptospirosis) is caused by the family of organisms Leptospira interrogans. It’s primarily contracted through contact with the urine of an infected animal but can also be spread through a bite or contact with infected soil or water.

Is it Urgent? Recognizing the Signs of a Pet Emergency

Imagine you’re out strolling with your dog and suddenly, another dog runs up and attacks! You and your pet escape without any major scrapes, but you notice your dog has some surface wounds. Is this an urgent situation?

Another scenario: you wake up to the sound of your cat retching for the fourth time that night. Is this a pet emergency? What if you suspect your curious puppy has ingested your daughter’s lunch, which had some grapes on the side…how do you handle the situation?

Sometimes, it’s tough to know when a pet might need urgent veterinary care, and when time is of the essence, second-guessing can waste precious moments. To help every owner be more prepared for any situation, the team at Berks offers up some tips on what to do during a potential pet emergency.


Long Live Our Pets 101: Caring for Heart Healthy Pets

Every single body part is important in its own way, but there is no arguing that the heart and cardiovascular system are essential. One of the key pieces to having happy, healthy pets is supporting their cardiac function. Keep reading to learn what Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center wants you to know about heart healthy pets.

The Trouble with Heart Problems

Pets and people alike can experience heart problems. In fact, our pet patients suffer from many of the same afflictions that their owners do. Heart trouble in pets may be caused by:

Managing Pain in Pets for Better Quality of Life

Like their wild counterparts, pain in pets is not always easy to identify. In fact, most animals instinctively hide signs of illness, injury, or pain for the sake of survival. For many decades, pain in pets was poorly understood, and therefore, many pets suffered needlessly.

For these reasons, modern veterinary medicine has made great strides in both understanding and treating pain in pets. Whether your pet requires surgery or has age-related chronic pain, relieving and manage symptoms is an essential component of care at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center.

Making Pet Owner Education Something to Celebrate: Top Five Blogs of 2016

Whether it is the end of the year or any time of year, our aim is to encourage the best health possible for pets. One of the ways we do this is through pet owner education via our blog. And, we have really enjoyed writing about some of the most pressing and relevant issues our responsible pet parents seek.

As an emergency hospital, our focus on emergency preparedness and prevention is paramount to keeping companion animals safe. Why not make 2017 the best year yet for you and your pet! Make a commitment to optimal health and wellness – and have some fun while you’re at it, too (like dusting off your running shoes and your dog’s leash!).

Celebrating the New Year with Our Most Popular Pet Blogs of 2016


‘Tis the Season for Holiday Pet Safety

christmas pet safety whippetThe holidays wouldn’t be the same without the sparkling decorations, gifts, and delicious smells of food wafting from the kitchen. However, as we deck the halls for another season filled with delights, it’s easy to overlook the safety concerns of our furry loved ones.

Practicing holiday pet safety is an important part of your seasonal planning, and your team at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center is here to start you off on the right paw with our safety and planning tips.

Boughs of Holly

Pets are curious about any changes to their environments, and that includes holiday decorations. Keep the following pet holiday safety tips in mind as you deck the halls this year:

Ice Melt Toxicity: Facts and Fictions

on a footpathWhile the astronomical start of winter is December 21st, the meteorological winter begins December 1st. By then, we may already have been hit by a snow or ice storm, begging the question – are you ready to learn about ice melt toxicity?

Preparing for winter goes beyond digging out your parka and stocking up on blankets and hot chocolate. It also means protecting your pet from the dangers that come with the colder weather. This includes brushing up on ice melt toxicity.

While most owners understand the inherent dangers of antifreeze, there’s a cloud of confusion about whether or not ice melt is toxic to pets. Let’s find out!

Halloween Pet Safety 101

Shark Week Chihuahua !The greater Reading area is abuzz with activities this time of year. Between the Haunted Hollow Fall Fest, Halloween Ghost Lantern tours at Crystal Cave, festive hayrides, and endless corn mazes, there’s no end to fun and spooky adventures awaiting families.

For pets, however, Halloween can quickly go from exciting to scary, and even dangerous. Learn how to keep the holiday pet-friendly with our Halloween and pet safety tips.

Keeping Pets Calm

The knocking and doorbell ringing that announce the arrival of tiny princesses and superheroes can be scary and stressful for pets. Create a safe space, away from all the action, for your pet during peak trick-or-treating hours. Include your pet’s bedding, water, toys, litter box (if needed), and some form of white noise, like music, TV, or a fan, to drown out the commotion. After the last trick-or-treater has gone, let your pet out and offer plenty of snuggles for reassurance. Continue…