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Sunday, April 21, 2013


Have You Heard About Our?


The Westerly Sun

PET CONSIGNMENT CORNER Now Accepting Gently Used Pet Items Call and book your appointment now!





Bowls • Collars • Leashes Crates • Clothes • Gates Books & Beds Toys & Pet Accessories

Walk-Ins Welcome 3810 Old Post Rd., Charlestown • 401-213-6525

A state-of-the-art salon

in a low stress environment.





Ways pets could improve personal health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

“Come home from vacation to a happy, trained pet”


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163 Collins Rd, Ashaway 02804 - 2 mi from Exit 1 on 95

Petsense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Think rabies is a thing of the past? Think again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Protect pets from pesticides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 These dogs love laid-back living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Veterinary checkups for cats a necessity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Automatically keep track of pets’ health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 How to socialize a puppy, a roadmap to success: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

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401-315-5992 49 Beach Street, Westerly, RI 02891

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Tropical Fish • Birds • Small Animals Saltwater • Reptiles

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Ways pets could improve personal health Rather than heading to the pharmacy for solutions to common ailments, a majority of people may be able to stop at the nearest pet store or animal shelter and find a finned or furry remedy instead. Studies that link positive health benefits to pet ownership abound. According to WebMD, one study found that 48 stockbrokers who adopted a pet experienced lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people who did not own pets. Another study found that individuals suffering from serious diseases, such as cancer or AIDS,are far less likely to experience depression if they have a strong tie to a pet. Plus, pets have proven beneficial to seniors struggling with loneliness. Any pet can try a person’s patience at times, expecially when a kitty has used a sofa as a scratching post or when a pooch needs to be let into the yard at 3 a.m. But for many pet owners, the benefits of having a pet far outweigh the negatives. Here are some of the many ways that pet ownership can be good for your health. • Lower blood pressure: Petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure, as can watching a fish swim around a tank. Those with hypertension may want to purchase or adopt a companion animal to help lower their blood pressure. • Reduce stress: Stress is something people face on a daily basis. According to a National Health Interview Survey, 75 percent of the general population experiences at least “some stress” every two weeks, and many times that stress is moderate to severe. Research has indicated that when people spend time with a pet their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered while their level of serotonin, a hormone associated with improved mood and well-being, is increased. • Lower cholesterol: Lifestyle factors associated with pet ownership, particularly a focus on increased physical health and activity, can help lower cholesterol levels. Also, having a pet works to reduce stress, which may keep individuals from looking to fatty foods as sources of alleviating anxiety.

chase and fetch is another way to get the heart pumping. Many dog owners benefit from the “forced”exercise that goes with daily walks. Some people choose to exercise with their pets, enjoying the companionship and the physical activity. • Reduce stroke incidences: There has been evidence that cat owners are less likely to suffer strokes than people who do not have cats. Researchers are not sure of the connection, but surmise that cats have a more calming nature than other types of pets. • Greater opportunities for socialization: Humans are social animals and need to interact with others. Pet owners have a tendency to want to share time and experiences with other pet owners. Pets can provide opportunities for people to get together. • ADHD therapy: Children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often benefit from working with a pet or having a pet as a family companion. Playing with a pet is a great way to release excess energy and focus on tasks. Also, a pet with his or her unconditional love can help someone with ADHD overcome self-esteem issues. Similar results are possible when pets are used as therapy animals for children with autism and other behavioral disabilities. • Reduce propensity for allergies: Children who grow up in homes with cats and dogs are less likely to develop common allergies and even asthma, research suggests. In fact, children who live around two or more dogs or cats before their first birthday are less likely to have allergies of any sort, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

• Fight depression: Many therapists have prescribed pet therapy as a method to alleviating and recovering from depression. A pet is an unconditional friend and can provide that listening ear a person needs to talk through problems. Also, walking and taking care of a pet devotes attention away from problems and inward thinking.

Research presented at the 10th International Conference on Human Animal Interaction found pet owners were the least likely to have to visit the doctor. The survey of more than 11,000 respondents from Australia, China and Germany found that over a fiveyear period pet owners made 15 to 20 percent fewer annual visits to the doctor than non-pet owners.

• Improve physical activity levels: Heading to the gym is one way to get a workout, but spending an hour walking the dog or tossing around a ball for a game of

The companionship and love pets provide could be a key benefit in promoting good personal health. ❖

Did you know? According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador retriever was once again the most popular dog in the United States in 2012, marking the 22nd consecutive year the breed has earned the top spot on the annual list. While the lab might have the top spot on lockdown, the rest of the top five was not so stable. While the German shepherd again came in second, the golden retriever pushed the beagle, which fell to fourth, out of the top three, while the bulldog became the fifth most popular dog in 2012, displacing the Yorkshire terrier, which fell to sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were the boxer, poodle, rottweiler and dachsund, which fell one spot while the rottweiler moved up one spot. Many of the same breeds atop the AKC list are just as popular in Canada, where the Canadian Kennel Club noted that the Labrador retriever, German shepherd and golden retriever were the most popular breeds in 2011, the most recent year for which the CKC has released statistics. The Shetland sheepdog (fifth), Bernese mountain dog (seventh) and miniature schnauzer (tenth) were dogs that cracked the Canadian top 10 but not the American top 10. ❖



The Westerly Sun

Petsense BY ANNA MARIA TRUSKY Special to The Sun

Westerly Petsense staff, from left Nichole Getta, assistant manager, Kevin Tripp, manager, Benjamin Benoit, key holder and Danielle Rushford, key holder, in the leash and collar section of the newest pet store in town.

There’s great news for animal lovers in Westerly: Petsense LLC has opened a store at 143 Franklin Street, and it’s really the cat’s meow! Those local “pet parents” looking for premium-quality pet food and supplies at reasonable prices will find what they’re looking for to keep their beloved dogs, cats, and other critters happy and healthy. With headquarters in Arizona, Petsense now has stores in more than 20 states; the Westerly store is the only one in Rhode Island. One of the first stores, in Westbrook, Connecticut, was managed by Kevin Tripp, who now runs the Westerly location. “We’re very happy to be here in Westerly,” says Tripp. “It’s a great community and people have made us feel welcome. Many local customers have come in and said, ‘We really needed this in town!’” Petsense prides itself on its friendly, knowledgeable staff; extensive line of quality pet foods and supplies for every budget; and a clean, well-organized store. “Our staff is well trained; they know a lot about pet nutrition and they can help with little problems like scrapes and

cuts, steering customers toward the products that will help them to help their pets.” Pet nutrition is a big issue today, as more and more consumers are becoming aware of the importance of feeding pets well for optimal health. With that in mind, Petsense in Westerly carries top brands including Blue Buffalo, Eukanuba, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pet Botanics, Royal Canin, Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Earthborn, Evo, Innova, California Natural and Wellness, as well as Purina’s full line of foods, which include the popular Friskies and Fancy Feast labels. Many of the premium pet food brands offer a “buy ten, get one free” deal. Petsense also carries Primal frozen and freeze-dried raw foods, which are growing in popularity. There are also wholesome treats and snacks galore, as well as vitamins, shampoos, grooming tools, health aids, “pet attire” (leashes, collars, and coats) cat litter, and products for those inevitable little “accidents” every pet parent knows all too well! While most of its products are for cats

and dogs, Petsense also carries food and supplies for rodents, rabbits, and reptiles. “Live crickets for reptile feeding are one of our biggest sellers,” Tripp points out. The only other living animals the store carries are beta fish. Petsense is dedicated to promoting pet adoptions, and with this in mind the store recently partnered with the Westerly Animal Shelter to help find homes for cats and kittens. “We are a licensed pet shelter meeting the requirements in Rhode Island,” Tripp explains. “We act as a ‘foster family’ for cats—housing them, caring for them, and feeding them. Before the cats are brought here they are vaccinated, spayed, and neutered. When a customer wants to adopt one of the cats, the adoption is handled through The Westerly Animal Shelter.” Petsense also has special events featuring dog adoptions on a regular basis. Petsense hosts an affordable vaccine clinic provided by Westerly Animal Hospital on the second Saturday of every month. In addition, Petsense has a professional photographer come in periodically for

pet picture sessions, so people can frame their beloved Fidos and Fluffies. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 to 7:00. You can contact the store via phone at (401) 401348-5813 or email at Visit Petsense in Westerly online at or “Like” them on Facebook!

143 Franklin Street, Suite J Westerly, RI 02891 401-348-5813 Hours: Monday – Saturday 9–9 Sunday 10–7

Sunday, April 21, 2013



Think rabies is a thing of the past? Think again (BPT) - Most of us know what rabies is, but it’s not something we think about often. Thanks to public health education, mandatory pet vaccinations and the wildlife oral rabies vaccination program, rabies cases in the U.S. have dropped dramatically in the past 15 years. But unfortunately this severe disease is still reported across the country, making rabies a continued public health threat. What do you need to know to keep your family, pets and community safe?

CONTROLLING RABIES CASES Although steps to control pet and wildlife rabies cases have reduced the risk to humans, rabies is still a threat because if it’s not treated immediately, it has the highest case-fatality rate of any infectious disease. Transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal, rabies can be prevented by prompt medical care. If exposure is suspected, contact your health care professional immediately. Continued diligence in vaccination programs for pets, livestock and wildlife is needed to lower the threat of rabies. Make sure to keep your pets up to date on their immunizations

and get involved in your community’s efforts in controlling the disease in the wildlife population. Controlling and preventing rabies requires several proactive efforts. First, pet owners must understand the need for pets to get vaccinated on a regular basis. Second, seek immediate treatment if pets are bitten by an infected animal. Finally, efforts to decrease the disease among wild animals must be made. Approximately 92 percent of all animal rabies cases in the United States occur in wildlife, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Animals that are most likely to be infected with rabies in the U.S. include raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Public health programs, such as those that vaccinate wildlife against rabies, help reduce rabies exposure and the spread of the disease to pets, livestock and people.

WILDLIFE TREATMENT EFFORTS Managing rabies in the wildlife population is a complex task. Fifteen years ago the Federal government created a program that uses the first See RABIES, page 10



The Westerly Sun When using pesticides or other chemical-based products around the house, prevent pets from accessing treated areas after application.

Come visit our friendly and knowledgeable staff that is happy to assist with your pet’s veterinary needs.



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Protect pets from pesticides Homeowners use pesticides in their yards for a variety of reasons. Some utilize pesticides to make their lawns appear lush and healthy, while others must use pesticides to address issues like insect infestations.

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Applying pesticides is often frowned upon by environmentalists, but it’s not just Mother Earth who can suffer from the use of pesticides. If your family pet loves to get outdoors and run around in the yard, you might be putting your four-legged friend in danger if you’re not careful when applying pesticides. Exposure to pesticides can make pets sick and, in some instances, prove fatal. But pet owners can reduce that risk significantly by adhering to the following tips. • Remove pets and their items from the lawn before applying pesticide. It’s a nobrainer to move Fido inside before applying pesticide to your lawn. But homeowners should also scour the yard for toys, bedding and feeding dishes and move them inside or into the garage before applying a pesticide. Pet health could be at risk if such items are left in the yard and get even a drop or two of pesticide on them. Therefore, carefully scour the yard for your pet’s belongings, raking high grass to find toys or bones when necessary, before applying pesticides. • Adhere to the instructions on the pesticide label. The label on the pesticide you

choose should have specific instructions as to how much pesticide you should apply and how long you must wait before allowing anyone, including the family pet, to gain access to the treated area. If you let your pet back in the area too quickly, the animal could be poisoned. • Be careful inside, too. Chemical products are not only used to treat lawns. If you need to use a chemical product like a bug bomb indoors, keep pets in mind before application. Remove bedding, feeding dishes and toys, and cover your fish tank to prevent liquid and vapors from getting into the tank and threatening the lives of your fish. • Keep areas treated for pests off limits to pets. If you have a pest problem in your home, be it insects or rodents, keep any areas you treat with chemical products off limits until the issue has been successfully resolved. Even if pets aren’t in the room during or after application, they can still be poisoned if they eat poisoned insects or rodents. This is called secondary poisoning, and pet owners concerned about their pets but still in need of a way to eradicate pests should look for a product with a low risk for secondary poisoning. • Keep bait products out of the reach of your pets. Bait products are often effective See PESTICIDES, page 10

Sunday, April 21, 2013




Helping Rescues & Homeless Dogs in Need

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p o t d i o A n g E n i v e m n o c t p s U Save the Dates! MAY 18th & 19th Old Saybrook Industrial Park – 6 Business Park Road JUNE 29th & 30th Bishops Orchard – 1355 Boston Post Rd, Guilford SEPTEMBER 28th & 29th Dodd Stadium – 14 Stott Avenue, Norwich Adoption Fees are Never More than $385 and include:

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The Westerly Sun

Locally Owned & Operated

Lawn & Garden Supplies

We carry a full line of Pet Foods & Accessories.

•Great Selection •Competitive Prices •Knowledgeable Staff Pets are always welcome!

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Here are some breeds that require less daily energy expenditure and may be happy spending most of their time lounging around.

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Choosing a pet isn’t about choosing the breed that is the “in” pet of the moment. Instead, the right pet should be a companion who will be comfortable in your household and amenable to your lifestyle. While there are plenty of people who envision romps in the park with their pooches or an active game of fetch, some people would prefer a dog that is happier lounging on the sofa. There are plenty of placid breeds that fit better in a laid-back environment. Dogs with low energy still exercise, but this exercise may mean a short walk or some time spent playing indoors.


Mon-Thurs 8am-6pm, Fri & Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm

These dogs love laid-back living

• Basset hound: Placid and slow-moving, basset hounds are direct descendants of bloodhounds. They were raised to hunt

We stock a large variety of holistic dog & cat foods, including raw and grain free foods. Pet supplies include: Frontline, Advantix, Advantage and the new Seresto collar by Bayer.

See LIVING, page 10

• Dog and Cat Toys

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Organic Dog Treats

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862 Stonington Rd., Stonington, CT 437321

A Variety of Aquarium and Small Animal Setups!

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various game, but they can be good with children and other animals. Their stubbornness can make them difficult to train. However, they are food-motivated, and this could be their inspiration to learn.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013



Veterinary checkups for cats a necessity Some people prefer cats, while others’ loyalty lies with dogs. Dogs and cats have different personalities, which is what draws people to them for one reason or another. Though different, cats and dogs alike need to visit the veterinarian for routine checkups. Still, it seems dogs head to the vet more frequently than cats. Organizations like the American Association

of Feline Practitioners and others have uncovered the disparity in care among dogs and cats. Cats are less likely to receive veterinary healthcare than dogs, as research shows that cats make up about one-quarter of patients at small animal veterinary clinics. Cats have long been second to dogs as the most popular pet. But cats may be edging out dogs as the preferred pet, particularly because they seem to need less attention and maintenance. But these same qualities that make them attractive pets could be putting their health at risk. Cats that tend to fend for themselves act aloof and may not give their owners any indication that they are sick. As a result, pet owners can become complacent about cat care, simply because they don’t spend as much time with cats as they may with a dog. Dr. Katy Allen, a veterinarian and owner of Canterbury Tails Veterinary Services, has said dogs are

Westerly Animal Hospital Compassionate Care, Cutting-Edge Medicine Debra L. Psimer, Owner Dr. Michael J. Conway, VMD Dr. Hank Wietsma, DVM Debbie Wietsma, Receptionist

We Now Offer Avian & Exotic Pet Care

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See CATS, page 10


Exeter Animal Shelter


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If your making a donation make checks payable to Friends of Exeter Animals, send to: PO Box 302, Exeter, RI 02822

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The Westerly Sun

Automatically keep track of pets’ health It is not always easy for pet owners to recognize when a companion animal is feeling sick. Dogs and cats can both be stoic when dealing with illness, and unless there is something physically apparent like a limp or a wound, pet owners may have a sick four-legged friend on their hands without even knowing it. But a new technology is aiming to change the way pet owners are informed about their pets’ health. At least two different innovators have developed devices that continuously monitor a pet’s health and alert its owners when there is something amiss. The Japanese information technology firm Fujitsu announced its launch of an innovative new device called the Wandant in 2012. This device can be affixed to dogs’ collars, where it can monitor their level of activity, number of steps taken and other health-related data. The data can be uploaded to a cloud or read by a phone or computer. Transitions

in pet health can be monitored to make it easier to understand any changes that could be indicative of a health problem. Similarly, a start-up company called PetPace is developing a collar that can monitor your pet’s health and send an early warning to you and your vet when something doesn’t add up. The Massachusetts-based company will produce a collar and base station that collects the data. There will be an initial cost for the equipment and then a monthly subscription fee for ongoing monitoring service. According to the company, the sensors in the collar can track the animal’s movement, temperature, respiration and pulse. There’s also a microphone that listens for sounds like drinking, barking or stomach gurgling. Positioning and movement sensors, like those found in many smartphones, can even tell when the animal is running, laying down or taking a bathroom break. The data is compared to

RABIES, from page 5 and only oral rabies vaccine for wildlife, RABORAL V-RG, to reduce this infectious disease. “Oral rabies vaccines are provided to wild animals in the form of consumable baits,” explains Dr. Joanne Maki, veterinary public health technical director for Merial, maker of RABORAL V-RG. “These baits are placed

Changing vaccine schedules for many animals may also affect how often cats visit the vet. Immunizations have changed so that some shots can be offered every two or three years instead of annually. Therefore, pet owners may not see the need to visit the vet unless the animal is due for a shot. This can put a cat at risk because it is usually during routine exams when vets uncover something that the pet owner may not have noticed on his or her own. The American Animal Hospital Association

what’s normal for the breed and the animal’s past behavior. Anomalies may alert pet owners to something that is wrong. According to chairman Avner Schneur, the company has already been testing its technology at several pet hospitals. Although hospitals will be the company’s initial

focus, PetPace will eventually sell the collar to consumers. If your dog or cat may not be feeling well but is not exhibiting any abnormal behavior, then some new devices might be able to alert you to the problem to take action sooner. ❖

PESTICIDES, from page 6 strategically throughout the country where wildlife at risk of exposure to rabies will eat them. This approach has prevented rabies transmission in wild animals, particularly raccoons, coyote and foxes. Vaccinating wildlife is a comprehensive approach that helps keep pets, livestock and people safe from rabies as well.” ❖

CATS, from page 9 an “in-your-face” kind of pet. People tend to interact more with their dogs by taking them for walks and playing with them. So it’s more noticeable when something is not right with a dog. Cats, however, are more stoic. When they don’t feel well, cats will run away and hide.

Not every animal exhibits obvious signs of physical suffering.

urges cat owners to remember that every year that passes for a cat is equivalent to several years for a person, making it imperative for cats to receive wellness examinations, including laboratory testing, once a year. Healthy senior cats should be examined once every six months, as illnesses and changes in an older cat’s health can progress quickly. A veterinarian will go over a number of things at an annual wellness visit. If any abnormalities are suspected, more intensive testing may be prescribed. Cats are prized for their ability to be selfsufficient and not need the same level of attention as most dogs. However, these traits should not preclude them from receiving routine medical wellness exams. ❖

because they’re attractive to insects or rodents. Unfortunately, the same properties that attract pests might also attract your companion animal. When using bait products around the house, be sure to place them beyond the reach of your pets. If

you’re using bait products that you must bury outdoors, keep in mind that dogs and maybe even cats can often dig these products up rather easily. So once the bait is planted, make the area off limits to your pets. ❖

LIVING, from page 8 face full of skin folds. It is one of the most gentle dogs and is generally well behaved with children and other household pets. Because of their short muzzles, they may have breathing problems and intolerance to extreme temperatures. • Bullmastiff: Said to be a cross between the mastiff and the bulldog, a bullmastiff is an excellent choice for a guard dog. Bullmastiffs crave human attention and like to be indoors. • Great Dane: This breed is known for its giant size and gentle personality. Danes take to training well and are fairly lowmaintenance. They need less exercise than their size might indicate. One thing to note is that their large size contributes to their shorter life expectancy. • Great Pyrenees: A large, white dog that

has a reputation of being calm and patient. A pyrenees may be low energy, but it needs daily grooming attention to keep fur from matting. • Italian Greyhound: Although they are known as racing dogs, greyhounds do not need constant exercise to remain happy. Daily, moderate walks will be effective, and these dogs prefer a quiet household. • Irish Wolfhound: Known for their height, Irish wolfhounds are tall as well as rugged and heroic. Though powerful, Irish wolfhounds have a docile temperament and are family-friendly. • Pug: This little, stocky dog rarely seem to be in a bad mood. They love to follow their owners around and crave attention. With their short snouts, pugs also may have breathing issues and tend to snore. ❖

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Most puppies seem confident and â&#x20AC;&#x153;fineâ&#x20AC;? when you get them but if socialization isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t proactively done during this critical frame (8-16 weeks old), serious behavioral problems (usually aggression), that can EASILY be avoided, frequently surface. You only get one chance at this so the earlier you begin socializing and training the better life with your dog will be.

Be smart about where you go; avoid dog parks, or places there are lots of dogs (who may be unvaccinated). Classes & indoor play-groups where health records are checked are pretty safe. Enroll in a puppy class where your pup can play off-lead with other dogs while learning basics and to pay attention. Between 8-12 weeks: Pup should meet at LEAST 100 brand new people, of every age, from infant to elderly. Bring the pup everywhere, bus stops, playgrounds & store-fronts are great! Have several parties: hand out Dixie cups with treats and have guests reward â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sits!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Play sporting events loudly on the TV or play loud music while integrating the pup in the fun. Also have friends

Between 12-16 weeks: Repeat above with ANOTHER 100 people (NOT the same people!) After 16 weeks you have passed the critical time frame so you can relax a little and focus more on training. Always be proactive with socializing throughout the dogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Big gaps in socializing can result in the dog becoming insecure or unruly in public. If the pup shows any shyness or hesitation toward certain types of people, dogs, animals, etc. a higher level of fun & reward should be associated with them and they should be exposed much more frequently. Life with a dog is a long-term commitment! Trying to resolve problems once they have begun can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Please, help your pup start life on the right paw. Christina Johnson Canine Behavior Consultant (401)539-0947

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Some Veterinarians suggest waiting until after vaccinations are complete but this creates enormous risk of behavioral problems while the risk of disease is actually very small.

over for coffee and encourage calm, sedentary behavior. If you plan to bring your adult dog many places think about what (s)he may encounter throughout life and expose your pup to it now!...Farm animals, a duck pond, outside sporting events? The more you do now, the better you set your pupâ&#x20AC;Śand yourself up for life!


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The Westerly Sun

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Route 184 • Groton, CT (860) 448-1299



Broad & Colman Sts. • New London, CT (860) 447-3141

450 West Thames St. • Norwich, CT (860) 889-2601

Route 12 • Groton, CT (860) 449-1242




691 West Thames St. • Norwich, CT (860) 892-6000

Broad & Colman Sts. • New London, CT (860) 447-3141


Route 184 • Groton, CT (860) 448-0050

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