New Medical Privacy Laws for Animals

dog vet

Like people, pets also benefit from regular visits to health care professionals.  Veterinarians and other pet specialists make sure your “fur babies” are properly vaccinated and in prime shape for walks, training, daycare, boarding, grooming and good old fashioned cuddling.

Unlike people, pets are not protected by HIPAA, the law that guides medical privacy, because they are considered property and not people (although there are many pet owners that would argue otherwise.)

Like people, however, health information for pets collected at the vet are protected by law.  So far thirty-five states (Indiana being one of them) have statutes that address the confidentiality of veterinary records.  Provided is a link listing the statutes per state:

Pets probably don’t care if the world knows they have medical concerns but say, for instance, if someone were to bring an animal to the vet claiming to be a Good Samaritan that had just rescued an animal in need, the vet could be summoned into a legal conflict with the pet owner for helping the Good Samaritan and treating the animal in need. This is because the Good Samaritan could have committed a crime i.e. trespassing, theft, illegal possession of a pet, etc.  The vet could be viewed as aiding and abetting a criminal all because the pet owner did not give permission.  This new medical privacy law protects individual property rights.

AYBNC can no longer contact veterinarians without the proper written consent provided by your veterinarian and signed by the owner.  This paperwork must remain with your veterinarian.  This will allow AYBNC to be able to verify any information while your pet is in our care.

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Busy Summer? Don’t Forget to Make Plans for Your Pets!

bulldog trio for fb

Have plans for an upcoming graduation, vacation or wedding this Summer? Don’t forget about scheduling plans for your pet during your busy time away from the home.  Our climate controlled facility offers Doggy Daycare, a Cageless Pet Hotel for dogs, a Cat Chateau for cats and pick-up and delivery service for a small fee if you are in our proximity and are unable to bring your dog into us.  Don’t forget to schedule a groom for your pet with one of our professional certified groomers too so when you pick up your returns home looking their best!

Since our Pet Hotel does fill up quickly during the Summer, we recommend to reserve early to secure that we have room.  Keep in mind that you pet(s) must be current on rabies, distemper and bordetella at least seven (7) days prior to bringing your pet in for any service offered at AYBNC (Hotel, Daycare and Grooming).

If you’d like to meet our Staff, take a tour and see for yourself why we’re “Often Imitated but Never Duplicated,” we offer tours Monday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  There are no tours on Sunday as we are closed. Please note that tours are for humans only.

peter pups 2 lulu groom mylissa jackson pic cat pic 1

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Spring Has Sprung And Pet Shedding Has Begun!

Spring has sprung and pet shedding has begun! Don’t let all that fur weigh you down, let us help.  We offer a very effective de-shedding treatment here at AYBNC consisting of a de-shedding shampoo/conditioner bath and brush out technique. We also recommend brushing your pet in between your pet’s de-shedding regimen and groom schedule at AYBNC. What type of brush to use depends on the dog breed. Curved wire slicker or pin brushes are advised for long-haired breeds; a regular wire slicker for medium breeds, as well as for short coat dogs with dense undercoats such as terriers; and a rubber grooming mitt or similar brush for breeds with smooth coats such as beagles, bulldogs, pugs or basset hounds. For more information or to schedule your pet’s appointment, please call us at 663-3223 today!

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The “Dig” on Doggy Daycare

Daycare can improve some dogs’ behavior and aggravate others. How do you decide whether it’s right for your dog?  The term “doggie daycare” has become a, “Cure-all” in recent years for all manner of canine behavioral ills. Does your dog engage in destructive chewing? Nuisance barking? Rude greetings? Poor canine social skills? Mouthing and biting? Separation anxiety? Just send him to doggie daycare and all will be well; you hope.

The fact is, many of today’s canine companions suffer from a significant lack of exercise, stimulation, and social time with their own kind. A good daycare provider can go a long way toward meeting those needs. But daycare is not the one-size-fits-all answer that we would like it to be; there are many factors to take into consideration before enrolling your dog in your friendly neighborhood doggie hangout.

Who Shouldn’t Go to daycare:
Not all dogs are appropriate daycare candidates. Just because they are a social species does not mean all dogs get along with each other. Humans are a social species and we certainly do not all get along! It is important that you honestly evaluate your dog’s personality and behavior to determine if he/she has the potential to do well at daycare. If he plays well with others, is comfortable and confident in public, and does not mind being separated from you, then daycare may be a fine choice. If any of those are questionable, proceed with care.

If your dog does not enjoy interacting with other dogs, he/she will likely find daycare a very unpleasant experience, and his dislike of dogs will probably get worse.

When the planets are aligned just so – with a well-managed, highly trained staff and a perfect set of playmates – some dogs who are mildly fearful of other dogs may develop greater social skills and ease around their own kind. But many a dog-fearful dog has become reactive-aggressive as a result of being forced into proximity with other canines. Total immersion in dogdom is not an appropriate behavior modification or management plan for a dog who is intimidated by his own kind. Many dogs simply become less dog-playful as they mature, and a day at doggie daycare is not the fun party for them we imagine it is. Of course, geriatric dogs and those with medical conditions should not be asked to endure the rough-and-tumble play of dogs at a daycare center.

A canine bully or any dog who is otherwise offensively aggressive toward other dogs is also not an appropriate daycare attendee.  Do not think sending him to daycare will teach him how to play well with others.  It is more likely to do the exact opposite!  He will find it quite reinforcing to have the opportunity to practice his inappropriate bullying or aggressive behavior.  Behaviors that are reinforced variably increase and strengthen.

Finally, dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are often horrible candidates for daycare.  Owners of dogs with separation anxiety often hope their dogs will relax in the company of other dogs and humans.  Trainers often suggest daycare as a solution for the dog who is vocal or destructive when left alone, but if your dog is at the extreme end of the separation-distress/anxiety continuum, sending him to daycare does not make him any happier.  It only makes those who have to spend the day with him (canine and human) stressed as well.  Less severe manifestations of isolation/separation distress may be alleviated by a daycare provider. Be honest with your prospective provider about your dog’s separation-related behavior, and see if they are willing to give it a try. Be ready to celebrate if it works, and look for another solution if it does not.

 Who Should Go to Daycare:

In contrast, if your dog loves to play with others, does not have significant medical problems that would preclude active play, and has energy to spare, he/she the ideal candidate for doggie daycare. This professional service, offered by a high-quality provider, is the perfect answer to many dog owner’s prayers.

Perhaps you have a friendly, active, young dog and you just do not have the time you would like to devote to his/her exercise and social exposure. You come home exhausted from a grueling day at work and he/she greets you with a huge grin on his/her face, his/her wagging tail clearly begging for a hike in the woods or an extended session of ball-retrieve. If you do not exercise him/her, you risk the emergence of inappropriate behaviors such as chewing, but you are just too tired and you have to work on a project due tomorrow.  Daycare, even one or two times a week, can be the perfect outlet for his/her boundless energy, giving him/her the social time and dog-play time he/she covets, and relieve yourself of the oppressive guilt of not being able to take him/her for that hike.

Be Choosy:
One of the pitfalls of suggesting daycare to clients is the scarcity of high-quality providers in most areas. If you are considering sending your canine pal off to a professional dog-sitting facility for the day, you want to be confident that he will be as safe and happy in their hands as he/she is in yours. You should see each prospective provider’s facility (preferably when dogs are present), and talk to the manager and staff.  You may need to make an appointment in order to get the best tour of a daycare facility. There are times (especially in the morning during peak drop-off hours and in the afternoon during peak pick-up hours) when it will be extremely difficult to spare a staff member to show you around. Call ahead and ask when it would be best to see the facility.  Always keep in mind that taking a tour is much different than observing your dog at play.  Facilities should take precautions to keep your dog safe at all times.  This includes but not limited to allowing you to take the tour with your dog and/or watch your dog at play.  Your dog’s behavior is completely different when you are present.  Allowing you to watch your dog at play can create a bad atmosphere as long as he/she can see you.

As you visit facilities and interview managers and staff, observe the dogs that are present in the daycare centers. They should appear happy, not stressed. Staff should also appear happy, not stressed and be interacting with the dogs. The environment should be calm and controlled, not chaotic.  Your take-away impression should be one of professional competence as well as genuine caring for dogs. Trust your instincts.  One of the most important things to ask about is the dog to staff ratio. This can range from 10 dogs or fewer per staff person to as many as 20 or more dogs per caretaker.   Of course, the smaller the ratio, the less risks of injury.  In a full-service facility, trained staff members keep the dogs busy with indoor /outdoor play.  Many facilities provide a variety of toys and balls as well as playground and agility equipment to enjoy.  Good daycare centers also include rest time or “Time-outs” so dogs do not get over-stimulated by having too much fun.

Cost is also an important factor, but do not select your provider by cost alone; neither the lowest-priced nor the highest-priced facility may be suitable for your dog. Depending on where you live and the specifics of the facility, cost per day can range from a few dollars to $40 or more. Facility specifics vary.  Multi-staffed facilities are naturally costlier, but can offer a much wider range of services to meet the needs of individual dogs.

Other Things to Ask About Include:

  • First Aid and CPR: Employees should be trained in pet first aid and CPR.  Ask what the daycare’s protocol is in the event of an emergency, injury or illness. How frequent are serious incidents, requiring staff intervention, of inappropriate behavior  between dogs?  How do they deal with incidents involving inappropriate behavior between dogs? Incidents should be defused by separating dogs calmly. What if a dog is injured? Do they have a regular consulting veterinarian who is available during all daycare business hours? If not, is there an emergency clinic available? Will they transport to your veterinarian if that is your preference? Who pays the vet bill?  The provider should notify you immediately if your dog is seriously injured, either by another dog or some other physical mishap, and honor your preference for veterinary care if at all possible. There are reasonable arguments on both sides of the “who pays” question, but you should be aware in advance of their policies so you are not surprised.
  • Vaccination Requirements: The doggie daycare facility should require mandatory checks for health risks such as Bordetella, the vaccination for tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) at least one week prior to daycare.  There should be requirements for vaccination or titers, and sick dogs should not be allowed to enter the daycare or boarding facility.  All dogs should be on a heart-worm, flea, tick and parasite preventative.
  • Spayed or Neuter: The daycare policy should prohibit unaltered male or female dogs. Nothing throws off the chemical balance and harmony of a group of dogs quicker than that of a female in heat or an intact male.  AYBNC reserves the right to make the final decision of whether your intact male is a good candidate for daycare.  Absolutely NO females in heat allowed.  In addition, neutering and spaying your dog will add years to their life!!!
  • Floors and Fencing: Floors should be cushioned and easy to clean.  Typically washable rubber mats on the floors makes a good choice.  This protects them from slipping and hurting themselves.  Also, fencing should be enclosed with many gates in the middle of the room to prevent any dog from getting backed into a corner.  In addition, any fencing should be high enough to prevent dogs from jumping over.
  • Layout of Facility: How many play areas are there for dogs?  Are there fresh clean water stations in each play area?  How often are they let out to go potty?
  • Behavioral Control: How does the daycare staff determine appropriate play groups?  Dogs are individuals and come in many different shapes, sizes and ages and have varying temperaments, play styles, energy, sociability, and fear levels, etc.  If you get the proper answer (play style, size, and age) make sure your observations of the groups playing support their answer.  Keep in mind that accidents and injuries can happen in all facilities. Dog daycare is like a child’s playground, and by allowing dogs to play together there is a risk of injury.  Discuss this conundrum with your potential provider to see how they handle it.
  • Treats: Do they feed the dogs treats? If so, are the treats a type and quality that is compatible with your dog’s diet – especially if he/she has allergies or you are committed to high quality foods? Can you provide your own treats to give him/her, and if you do, can they ensure he/she gets your treat and not the others? If you ask them to refrain from feeding treats, or limit the amount, will they?

The benefits of dog play are numerous, and it is well worth the effort to find a professional facility that can allow your dog to be as happy, well-rounded, and well-exercised as he/she deserves to be.

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‘Tis The Season

As the days become shorter and the nights grow colder, you may be observing something that seems a bit odd for a body preparing for winter….your dog is shedding more than he/she normally does. Rest assured, it is perfectly normal. Dogs typically lose their winter coats in the spring, and their coat is replaced by a shorter, lighter summer coat. In the fall, this cycle is reversed; the summer coat is shed and the heavier, protective winter coat is prominent.

This change is most obvious in “double-coated” breeds such as Collies, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Samoyeds and Malamutes. These breeds have a protective overcoat of long hair, and an insulating undercoat that is softer, almost “down-like.” The mass of these coats are lost in the spring and fall.

The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. German shepherds shed year-round, while poodles seem to lose very little fur at all. Short-haired breeds may shed as much as the longhairs, but since the hair that light-coated dogs shed is easily overlooked, it may seem as if they shed less.

All coats, even the heaviest, can be tamed by a regular and frequent schedule of bathing combing and brushing. There are many different kinds of shampoos and conditions to choose from. No matter what the breed or mix of dog, shedding is normal, but some heavy shedding can also be a sign of health problems. Skin allergies and skin parasites may trigger shedding and poor nutrition or other health problems can also be a cause of coat problems. Become familiar with your pet’s normal pattern of shedding. Ask your groomer for advice. If you notice their coat condition seems too dull, you notice excessive hair loss, or are noticing a change in skin conditions, please don’t hesitate to ask a professional. They are always happy to help.


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Boarding your pet? How to select the best facility and what to expect.

Boarding is usually the first option for many people who do not have someone they can depend on, for those who are uncomfortable leaving their dog with a stranger, or having a stranger come to their home. I do not blame you!!! Boarding can be a fantastic experience or a nightmare. More and more concerned pet owners are choosing to board their dog at boarding kennels. Facilities that belong to International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) are professional pet-care providers who make a public commitment to quality pet care and subscribe to a Code of Ethics for pets in boarding and/or daycare facilities. The vast majority of dogs adapt well and enjoy their stay at the kennel. For some dogs/puppies which have not had their immunizations, extremely old dogs with chronic illnesses, very aggressive dogs, and dogs that require medication more than twice a day, you might consider boarding with your veterinarian.

Selecting a Boarding Facility:

Make sure you call around and talk to several of the facilities nearest you.  Be aware that they may be under staffed.  They will also have their hands full with their four legged customers, so I would not expect to get someone on the phone who can chat for a while.  Stop by a boarding facility and visit with the owner and staff.  Get acquainted with the people who will be caring for your pet.  Ask questions and take nothing for granted.  Discuss frankly any qualms you may have about boarding.  They will appreciate your frankness and interest.

Health and Safety:

The experienced staff members at an IBPSA facility are trained to recognize the warning signs of potential health problems and will contact a veterinarian if they feel it is necessary.  Many times it is easier for the pet care provider to detect problems than it is for the owner of the dog.  It is not, however, part of the pet care provider’s job to diagnose or to prescribe.  If your dog does require veterinary care while being boarded, you should be aware that you, the pet owner, are financially responsible for such care.

During boarding, it is possible that dogs might step in their stools or urine and become dirty.  This can happen in the cleanest of facilities.  Also, some of the finest disinfectants available for sanitizing are not always the most pleasant smelling and the odor may cling to your dog’s coat.  Bathing or grooming may be a welcome solution.  Make sure you understand the rate structure for all services and hours of operation.  The fee for boarding includes the care of your pet, as well as the peace of mind that goes with knowing that he/she is safe and with someone you can trust.

Vaccination Requirements:

As a responsible pet owner there are things you must attend to before bringing your dog in to board.  Make certain all immunizations are current.  The manager will be happy to discuss the immunization requirements with you.

Understanding the Kennel Environment:

A pet owner sometimes needs reminding that it is not beneficial to lament over the dog in the front office before leaving, nor should the suitcases come out the day before the trip.  Both of these things cause the dog to be unnecessarily upset.  It is important to understand the possible effects of stress on a dog. Sometimes temporary behavior changes can occur as a result of unfamiliar surroundings.  While boarding, your best friend tears up the bed that has been slept in for years, or “Killer,” turns into a little lamb.  Eating habits change under stress, and a dog assimilates food differently.  Some eat like canaries at home and like vultures at a boarding facility. They may put on a few pounds.  Others can lose weight though eating well or lose weight by not eating enough.  Some dogs lose weight because they run the weight off as they charge around barking at other dogs and having a wonderful time.  These dogs often leave the facility exhausted, but happy and may sleep a lot the first couple of days they are home.

Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs:

Boarding kennel stress is real!!!  Dogs become stressed the same as you and I. Putting your dog into boarding kennels can be very stressful for them.  Imagine taking your child to a strange place and leaving him/her with people he/she does not know.  The child will more often than not, become distressed and upset.  The same thing can and does happen to dogs.  Even steady dogs can become stressed when confronted by new surroundings and routine.  They are introduced to strange smells and other dogs, some of which may be barking.  Many kennels these days, and I am one of them, ask if your dog has been boarded before, If not, day/night stays are recommended prior to boarding to get them familiar with the process, the staff, and the surroundings.  I prefer this because it allows the dog to experience the fact that you come back.  By doing this, the next time your pet boards, he/she will not be so anxious.  So start conditioning your dog early and be proactive. Even if you are not going away, your dog should be introduced to the boarding kennel environment.

Signs of Stress:

Signs of kennel stress can manifest in dogs in many ways:

  • Aggression:  Often due to fear.
  • Excessive Barking & Whining:  It is a sign the dog is distressed and it is also very unsettling for the other dogs.
  • Loss of Appetite:  Not eating due to stress and change of routine.
  • Pacing & Depression:  Some dogs who have never been confined to a room before may try to break out by throwing themselves against the walls or doors.
  • Fireworks, Thunderstorms, Loud noises:  Some dogs go into a panic which could cause vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Increase in Appetite:  Some dogs “Stress” eat just like humans.
  • Colitis:  Colitis is the inflammation of the colon.  Stress colitis is real and very common.  Just as the name suggests, Stress colitis is caused by situations when your dog is exceptionally anxious, distressed, change in routine, and/or change in his/her environment.  Anything out of the ordinary can cause stress, although some dogs are more accepting of unusual situations than others.  Common stress-inducing situations for dogs include, new additions to the household such as other pets, children or overnight guest; travel, even short trips around town; severe storms; going to veterinarian; being left alone for long periods of time; moving; or staying overnight at a boarding facility.  Signs and Symptoms:  Diarrhea is the main and often only symptom of colitis.  It is not simply runny stool, however; it is slimy or gooey.  It often contains mucus or blood.  Many times a dog’s bowel movement will start out normal and then become runny.  Your dog may need to relieve himself more often than usual and may display a deep sense of urgency for only a small bowel movement.  Common Treatments:  Because it comes on suddenly and ends as soon as the stress is resolved, treatment is not always necessary for stress colitis.  You should contact your veterinarian especially if your dog is very young, elderly, or has a health condition.  If treatment is necessary, your vet may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication, ask you to withhold food for a short period of time, or offer only mild foods or foods with plenty of fiber (rice).

The vast majority of dogs view their stay at the boarding facility as a vacation.  Sit back, relax and enjoy your trip…..We got this!

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The Importance of Having Your Pet Groomed by a Professional Groomer

By now, many of you know my thoughts on the importance of regularly grooming your pet with a Certified Pet Groomer. Proper pet grooming is one of my passions here at At Your Bark-N-Call and the reason I first started my grooming business in the laundry room of my home back in 2006. Fast forward to 2014 and my dream of owning a complete pet care facility with a state-of-the art grooming salon, cageless pet hotel, doggy daycare, a cat chateau and 24 hour care is a thriving reality and it’s thanks to the wonderful clients who first started coming to me as a Professional Groomer.

I’d like to share some detailed facts as to why it’s so important to have your pet groomed by a professional:

Our Professional Certified Groomers know specifically how to groom your pet and keep them safe and healthy. We have countless hours and experience in breed-specific grooming and how to groom your dog or cat without causing injury. People who try to groom their pet at home could cause cuts, scratches or skin irritations to their pet by not knowing the proper techniques. At Your Bark-N-Call’s Professional Groom Team not only knows the proper way to groom but they also inspect your pet prior to grooming for matting, cuts on paws, skin tags, skin infections, etc. and can provide the proper treatment and suggest and inform you on treatments and preventative measures.

Our Professional Groomers have the appropriate grooming supplies! All pets are different as are the supplies we use to groom them. All of our supplies are in pristine condition and sanitized after each use to avoid infections and irritations; therefore, producing the very best top results. Professional groomers know which brush, comb, scissors and blades to use to make your pet look their very best.

Our Professional Groomers know the correct way to trim your pet’s nails — not cutting too short or causing injury. It’s a fact, dogs need a nail trim once a month for their health and well-being. Most pet owners do not enjoy or do not know how to properly trim their pet’s nails and many pets do not like the process of having their nails trimmed. A Professional Groomer can help ease their fears making the process not so scary.

Professional Groomers understand the dog anatomy. We can notice abnormalities such as lumps, skin discoloration, rashes, skin lesions, skin tags, bald patches, gum discoloration/bleeding and can pass information on to our clients so that they can follow-up with their vet.

Our well-trained Professional Bathing and Grooming Staff knows how to check for parasites on your pet’s fur that you may not be aware of and can provide a flea medicated bath if needed. We also check the ears for ear mites and other parasites that may not be visible to you.

Our Professional Bathers check and express anal glands and know how to properly massage your pet during a bath. At Your Bark-N-Call’s Professional Bathing Staff takes the worry out of bath time so that your pet is relaxed and engaged and the word “bath” doesn’t seem so scary.

Our Professional Groomers are here to educate owners about your pet’s coat. At Your Bark-N-Call’s Staff can suggest diet tips and shampoos if we notice hair loss, questionable skin condition, imbalances in your pet’s coat, etc. as well as discussing the proper brush or combs to use in between grooms.

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