Antietam Valley Animal Hospital’s Monthly Newsletter, 

ISSUE # 4, December 2000
In this issue….
Pets as presents
Shop Online
Biscotti Recipe
Pet Emergency Kit Sale 
Featured Website
Pet Loss Hotlines

Pets as presents?
Things to consider before giving the gift that keeps on living...
Courtesy of Janet Crosby, DVM
The holidays are a time to reflect, help out those in need, and celebrate goodwill. For many people, this naturally extends to our animal friends, especially those animals in need of a home. Popular books and movies, such as the recently released 102 Dalmatians, pair cute and cuddly puppies with a young audienceof viewers, and... In the twinkle of an eye, puppies top the list of children everywhere. If this sequel is anything like the first Dalmatian movie, 101 Dalmatians, we could be looking at an overload of unwanted young dogs in a few months from now.Based on statistics from around the country, The Humane Society of the United States estimates that Dalmatian relinquishments to animal shelters, humane societies, and Dalmatian rescue organizations increased by at least 25 percent as a result of the film 101 Dalmatians. The Dalmatian craze is just one facet of "pet gifts" - is giving any animal as a gift such a good idea? Sure, it is bound to be unlike any other gift the person may receive, but is it the best gift you can give? Veterinarians are all too familiar with adoptions and gifts gone bad -- pets that wind up tied out in the yard, starving for affection and sometimes food and shelter, too. It is well known that animals who bounce between shelters and homes have a difficult time bonding emotionally and adjusting socially. A common outcome of moving between repeated "homes" (for dogs in particular) is a disorder called Separation Anxiety, which is a type of hyperattachment, to the point of being destructive or physically sick if the owner leaves the home.

General considerations such as pet lifespan, veterinary care, personality and lifestyles are often overlooked:People need to be mindful of the commitment and financial responsibility of owning a pet. It is easy to adopt a kitten, get a litter box and a bag of food, and believe that you are all set. Considering that the average lifespan for an indoor cat is 15-20+ years, this is a commitment far beyond the shrink-wrapped litter box ensemble all ready to go in the store. Depending on the breed of dog, the lifespan ranges from 8 years (giant breeds) to 15+ years (smaller breeds in general).Basiccare for a healthy pet should include vaccinations (kitten/puppy series, then boosters after that), spaying or neutering, dental cleanings, annual examinations and any associated blood work. This does not include any health problems or injuries that will undoubtedly show up over the pet's lifetime. A 60-pound dog may eat 40 pounds of food a month.Personality -- of the person and of the pet is also a serious consideration, and due to the many variances in species and breeds of pets, it is something that should be researched and considered thoughtfully. Many of the breed information sites for dogs and cats offer personality and temperament information about the breed, and this information can be extrapolated to mixed breeds as well.Lifestyle -- again, of the person and of the pet. A Chihuahua won't make the best jogging buddy, and a Labrador isn't a lap dog (well, there are exceptions to this, I am sure!). Allergies in people may dictate what type of pet and even what breed of pet would be best. A working person with a busy schedule will find that an active pet will most often be bored and destructive when left alone for too many hours, creating stress and guilt for the owner. This leads to bad behavior in the pet, and these behaviors can be hard to break.

Adoption certificates, pet supplies, books or donations are alternatives to giving pets as gifts: As busy as animal shelters are, they don't want to place an animal with someone not wanting or not equipped to have a pet. Giving a certificate allows you to give the gift of a pet "on paper", and if the recipient is not ready for a pet, this saves an unpleasant situation from happening. If this is just what the recipient wanted, excellent! Now they can personally select the pet that is right for them. Adoption certificates usually cover the basic adoption costs, which often include spaying or neutering and first vaccination(s).Pet supplies and books - gift certificates work well for this, as well as actual presents of bowls, leashes, treats, and pet care books. Like a new baby being welcomed into the family, it never hurts to have a "shower" of useful gifts for when the pet does arrive, chosen by the new owner.A donation to a shelter, rescue group, or adoption agency is a great idea. Those who are unable to take on a pet (or add another to the collection) will appreciate this kind gesture helping out the less fortunate animals. Visit the many adoption sites online and see what they are in need of.


Now you can SHOP ONLINE at




Banana Biscotti

5 cups flour
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped 

½ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg 

¼ cup vegetable oil 
1 ½ cups banana, pureed 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

Preheat oven to 325oF. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Blend egg, oil and banana together and then mix with dry ingredients. Add water, one teaspoon at a time as needed. Knead by hand on table until mixed thoroughly. Form into logs. Bake 30 - 40 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2" - 3/4" slices and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Store in airtight container. 


Be prepared for an emergency. 

Pet Emergency Kits are now available at AVAH.
This kit is well equipped with bandaging supplies, scissors, thermometer, tweezers, peroxide, alcohol swabs, silver nitrate sticks, antibacterial soap, antibiotic ointment, medication syringes, a first aid book and more. All this is a sturdy plastic case for only $25.

A great gift idea for the pet lover!

Proceeds benefit the Sunshine Fund, which helps animals in need of medical attention.

Pet Nutrition 101…
Here you will find lots of information about companion animal nutrition including: 
Pet Food Facts, 
How to Compare Diets, 
Food Calculator, 
Homemade Diets, 
Nutrition Consultation and more!

Pet Loss Support Hotlines:

ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline 212-876-7700 ext 4355

P.A.T.S. Pacific Animal Therapy Society 250-389-8047

Pet Friends, Inc. 800-404-PETS

Pet Grief Support Service 602-995-5885

Pet Loss Support Hotline—Cornell University 607-253-3932

Pet Loss Support Hotline—University of California 800-565-1526

Antietam Valley Animal Hospital
10 North Prospect Street
Reading, PA 19606.

We look forward to seeing you and your pet

To subscribe to the electronic version of this newsletter, please visit our website

 Directory of Dr. Jennifer's Newsletters


Enter recipient's e-mail:
Then click on the
send this url button