Pulse: Pet Health

A vet who makes house calls, fitness tips for your furry friends and dog treats for the discerning pooch.

Good News!
MKE ranks 4th in lowest vet costs among cities in the U.S.*

*According to a comparison of 100 U.S. cities conducted by Wallethub.com

Dog-tastic Treats

That peanut butter sandwich cookie stuffed with vanilla yogurt looks yummy, but don’t bite. It’s made for pooches! The Doggy Bag (124 E. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc) bakes treats that meet the nutritional needs of canines. Carob chip cookies, cheesy cows and hand-rolled pizza are on the Bag’s lineup of natural snacks. Buy them at select Piggly Wiggly, Sendik’s and Sentry stores, the Oconomowoc bakery, and at thedoggybagllc.com.

A Vet Who Makes House Calls

Dr. Rebecca Feiring sits on the tile floor of a bathroom, patiently coaxing a fearful feline from his hiding place behind the pedestal sink. The routine checkup stretches longer than the expected 60 minutes, but Feiring, the owner of Happy at Home Veterinary Care, doesn’t seem to mind. One of the reasons the North Shore-based veterinarian started the wellness service-on-wheels for cats and dogs in March was to have more time with each of her patients, especially pets that struggle with anxiety. She also has the flexibility to schedule weeknight and weekend appointments. Being accessible (by phone, text or email) to her patients’ owners is also a priority. What’s not to like about that? One of Feiring’s specialties is palliative care for terminally ill or elderly pets, and down the line, she is considering adding laser therapy – and possibly massage and acupuncture – to her list of services. Certain procedures, including X-rays, dental work and surgeries (as well as emergencies), do require a visit to a veterinary clinic or specialist. But Feiring says her care model is “so much better suited for shy, anxious or aggressive pets.” happyathomevet.com – Ann Christenson

Fitness for Fido & Fluffy

Cats and dogs need exercise as much as humans do. Maybe more. But what to do if Fluffy or Spot prefers the sofa to an aerobic workout? The solution depends on the pet, says veterinarian Dr. Kristin Luginbill, a certified canine rehabilitation therapist with Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists. “Get to know what they like,” she says. Take your pooch on a walking route that offers “new smells,” or try a food puzzle filled with dry food or treats you know your pets like. Another option for dogs is a “nose” game, like playing “find the treat” or laying a scent trail to the food (either indoors or out). For cats, toys that appeal to their natural predator instinct, such as motorized mice, can be engaging, says Luginbill. Creating perches for felines may entice them to jump or climb. Or place your cat’s food “in five or six different places so they have to move around to eat,” she says, adding that age plays a factor. What engages them when they’re one year old may not do it at 13, she adds.

‘Pulse: Pet Health’ appears in Milwaukee Health, a special issue from Milwaukee Magazine.

Find the issue on newsstands beginning Monday, October 31, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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