Clinic Blog

National Veterinary Technician Week

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We are so fortunate to have an incredible team at Cornerstone Animal Clinic!  This week we get to honor our veterinary technicians for National Veterinary Technician Week!  Our technicians work alongside our doctors and play a vital role in assisting them with everything from taking our patient’s medical history to drawing up vaccinations, drawing blood, placing catheters, making up medications, taking care of them in the hospital, taking radiographs, dental cleanings, monitoring during surgery and more!

vet tech week 2016

Back Row( L to R): Heather, Amy, Katie, Bob, Martin, Singh, Edward
Front Row: Kourtny & Andi

Here’s some fun info about our awesome techs:

Heather has worked with us for 15 years, her favorite Disney character is Goofy and she loves sunflowers

Bob has worked with us for 10 years, is an avid car enthusiast and likes to ride ATVs in his free time

Martin has worked with us for 5 years and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT).  He loves exotic pets and has a tortoise as well as dogs and cats.

Andi has worked with us for 4 years.  She received an acting/theatre scholarship to Tyler Junior College.  She has also appeared in two films and enjoys doing Halloween make-up in her free time.

Amy has worked for us for a year.  Her favorite color is red and she loves to golf!

Kourtny has also worked with us for a year.  She is an avid fan of wake surfing and recently got to scuba dive with whale sharks while on vacation in Mexico.

Katie joined our team in February.  She is a die-hard fan of Mexican food and could eat it every day!

Singh joined our team in March.  Besides his love for dogs and cats, he also has a love of horses.

Edward joined our team in June.  He is originally from Ohio and is a huge fan of Ohio State. (Go Buckeye’s!)

Our Purple Heart Program Honors Miracle Pets

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We celebrate some of our bravest patients.

A couple of years ago we started a program at our clinic to honor some of our patients that have fought to be alive. These special patients have defied the odds or have an incredible story of perseverance. The stories vary from surviving being hit by a car or beating the fight against cancer. Their travels & tails (lol) may differ but each has an enormous heart, strength & will. Each one of the magnificent furry family members have been presented with a custom Purple Heart Tag and a certificate, though small, it shows how strong each & every Purple Heart recipient has been!

Our latest Purple Heart recipients.

We are honored to share these amazing furbabies with you, some of whom have crossed the Rainbow Bridge since they were presented with their Purple Heart:

Cosmo G.
Kodiak J.
Hayden S.
Rossi S.
Roni M.
Chelsea B.
Teddar I.
Chloe C.
Sophie M.
Sissie T.
Cookie H.
Chloe R.
Weensie B.
Stretch B.
Calvin H.
Rocky D.
Smokey G.
Winky S.
Barry L.
Ellie S.
Rusty G.
Scarlett A.
Joel B.
Benny L.
Ollie S.
Rusty G.
Louis T.
Gracie H.
Dooney W.
Hermione F.
Mickey F.
Faouzi F.
Daisy R.
Sugar J.
Annie R.
Boo. A


Angel Postma - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Benny Lenkinski - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
 Calvin Houser - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient chelsea braunstein  - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
 Chloe Ragus - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Daisey Routh - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
 Dooney Wells - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Ellie Stadler - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Faouzi Farrington - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Gracie Hutchinson - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Hermione Fennell - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Joel Berland - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Louis Tompkins - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Mickey Farrington - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Ollie Simmons - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Rocky Davis - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Rusty Grasso - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Scarlett Ashby - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Smokey Galt - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Sophie Motard - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient
Stretch Bass - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient Teddar Ivey - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient

Winky Schornstein - Cornerstone Animal Clinic Purple Heart Recipient  IMG_6429

New Team Member Spotlight

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We would like to introduce two new team members to our ever growing Cornerstone Animal Clinic family:

Jade and her dog Jack - Cornerstone Animal Clinic

Jade is a recent UNT grad and she also comes to us with a background in animal care. She also brought along her handsome pointer mix, Jack.  She joined us in October 2015 as a receptionist.

Although she has a fear of heights & also of open water, the two main things she wants to check off her bucket list are sky diving and cage diving with sharks! You might catch her going on a jog at lunch, a goal of hers is to run at least one marathon or obstacle course a year but even though she leads a healthy life, that won’t keep her from enjoying her favorite food which is grilled cheese sandwiches. We hope to keep her long term but she has always dreamed to open up her own bakery (thankfully we benefit from all her baking practice)!!


Jen, receptionist at Cornerstone Animal Clinic     Jen's kids - Cornerstone Animal Clinic

Jen is originally from Green Valley, Illinois but recently moved to Mesquite to marry her best friend, Tommy.  With her came her twin girls, 14 years old, and her 12 year old son. To go along with the already full house, Gracie Lou, Mack, Fynn (all cats) and her golden retriever Duke came with her!

Her favorite food is pizza and she can’t wait for this spring to work in her garden! She joined us in October of 2015 as a receptionist and it has been non-stop laughs ever since!


We couldn’t be happier with these two and we hope you get to know them soon!


Keep Your Pets Safe Around the Christmas Tree

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Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task.  There are ornaments, plants, presents, lights–oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree?  Let’s take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the emergency clinic.


1.  Place your tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet’s wanting eyes.  If this doesn’t keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree’s bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.

2.  Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet’s reach.  Ingesting tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which usually requires surgical intervention to fix.

3.  Do not put lights on the tree’s lower branches.  Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, but they are a fire hazard.  Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked if they chew through the wires.

4.  Ornaments need to be kept out of reach too. In addition to being a chocking and intestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments could injure your pet’s paws, mouth, or other parts of their body.

5.  For those with a live tree, keep the area around the tree free and clear of pine needles as much as possible.  While they may not seem dangerous, they can cause issues from stomach upset to puncturing your pet’s intestines.


1.  Did you know that holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats?  If you normally use these plants to decorate your home during the holidays, they should be kept out of your pet’s reach.

2.  Edible tree decorations–whether they be ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings–they are all like time bombs waiting to happen.  These goodies are just too enticing for your pet and they will surely want to tug on them and potentially knock down your wonderfully decorated tree.

3.  Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet’s way–there’s no telling where a wagging tail may end up.  Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns for your pet.

4.  To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or sides of the house.

5.  When wrapping gifts, be sure to keep your pets away.  Wrapping paper, ribbon, plastic, or cloth could cause digestion problems.  Scissors are another hazard and they should be kept off the floor or low tables.


Keep your pets cool in the summer heat!

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With warmer days comes summer fun like going to the lake, hiking, backyard BBQ’s but with these activities comes potential danger! We always think this will never happen to our pet…. You have a water bowl out for your dog in the back yard, you take short walks or you may think your cat is ok in your cat because you’ll be quick in the store. Look over these tips & information so that this situation will never happen to you!

Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body’s temperature in a safe range. Animals do not have efficient cooling systems (like humans who sweat) and get overheated easily. A dog with moderate heatstroke (body temperature from 104º to 106ºF) can recover within an hour if given prompt first aid and veterinary care (normal body temperature is 100-102.5°F). Severe heatstroke (body temperature over 106ºF) can be deadly and immediate veterinary assistance is needed.

A dog or cat suffering from heatstroke will display several signs:

-Rapid panting
-Bright red tongue
-Red or pale gums
-Thick, sticky saliva
-Vomiting – sometimes with blood


What you should do:

Remove the pet from the hot area immediately. Prior to taking him to your veterinarian,you can try to lower his temperature by wetting him thoroughly with cool water (for very small dogs, use lukewarm water), then increase air movement around him with a fan. CAUTION: Using very cold water can actually be counterproductive. Cooling too quickly and especially allowing his body temperature to become too low can cause other life-threatening medical conditions. The rectal temperature should be checked every 5 minutes. Once the body temperature is 103ºF, the cooling measures should be stopped and the dog should be dried thoroughly and covered so he does not continue to lose heat. Even if the dog appears to be recovering, take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. He should still be examined since he may be dehydrated or have other complications.

Allow free access to water or a children’s rehydrating solution if the dog can drink on his own. Do not try to force-feed cold water; the dog may inhale it or choke.

What your veterinarian will do:

Your veterinarian will lower your dog’s body temperature to a safe range (if you have not already) and continually monitor his temperature. Your dog will be given fluids, and possibly oxygen. He will be monitored for shock, respiratory distress, kidney failure, heart abnormalities, and other complications, and treated accordingly. Blood samples may be taken before and during the treatment. The clotting time of the blood will be monitored, since clotting problems are a common complication.


Dogs with moderate heatstroke often recover without complicating health problems. Severe heatstroke can cause organ damage that might need ongoing care such as a special diet prescribed by your veterinarian. Dogs who suffer from heatstroke once increase their risk for getting it again and steps must be taken to prevent it on hot, humid days.



Any pet that cannot cool himself off is at risk for heatstroke. Following these guidelines can help prevent serious problems.

-Keep pets with predisposing conditions like heart disease, obesity, older age, or breathing problems cool and in the shade. Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful.
-Provide access to water at all times.
-Do not leave your pet in a hot parked car even if you’re in the shade or will only be gone a short time. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach up to 140 degrees.

April showers bring May flowers & May flowers bring…ALLERGIES!

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Just like people, dogs and cats can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain every day substances–or allergens–as dangerous.  Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog or cat with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them.  Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact your pet’s skin.  As their body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear. Here are some helpful tips to be on the lookout for:

What are the general symptoms of allergies in pets?

-Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
-Increased scratching
-Itchy, runny eyes
-Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy dermatitis)
-Itchy ears and ear infections
-Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
-Paw chewing/swollen paws
-Constant licking
-Allergic cats & dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin

What substances can pets be allergic to?

A few common allergens include:

-Tree, grass and weed pollens
-Mold spores
-Dust and house dust mites
-Cigarette smoke
-Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
-Prescription drugs
-Fleas and flea-control products (The bite of a single flea can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
-Cleaning products
-Insecticidal shampoo
-Rubber and plastic materials

Can dogs & cats be allergic to food?

Yes, but it often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction.  Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, breathing difficulties or gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food(s) he is allergic to.  If your dog is specifically allergic to chicken, for example, you should avoid feeding him any products containing chicken protein or fat.  Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.

What should I do if I think my pet has allergies?

Schedule a visit to see us at Cornerstone!  After taking a complete history and conducting a physical examination, we may be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction.  If not, we will most probably recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to find out what’s causing the allergic reaction and take steps in making sure your pet is comfortable!  If you or your furry family member have any questions, give one of our technicians a call at 972-385-3555 so we can get your itchy pet some relief!



April is Heartworm Awareness Month

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What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.


The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.


Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.

How is heartworm disease transmitted from one pet to another?

The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog, cat, or susceptible wild animal, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound. Once inside a new host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms in an infected pet.

What are the signs of heartworm disease in dogs?

In the early stages of the disease, many dogs show few symptoms or no symptoms at all. The longer the infection persists, the more likely symptoms will develop. Active dogs, dogs heavily infected with heartworms, or those with other health problems often show pronounced clinical signs.
Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen. Dogs with large numbers of heartworms can develop a sudden blockages of blood flow within the heart leading to a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse. This is called caval syndrome, and is marked by a sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, and dark bloody or coffee-colored urine. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs survive.

What are the signs of heartworm disease in cats?

Signs of heartworm disease in cats can be very subtle or very dramatic. Symptoms may include coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite, or weight loss. Occasionally an affected cat may have difficulty walking, experience fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the first sign in some cases is sudden collapse of the cat, or sudden death.

How significant is my pet’s risk for heartworm infection?

Many factors must be considered, even if heartworms do not seem to be a problem in your local area. Your community may have a greater incidence of heartworm disease than you realize—or you may unknowingly travel with your pet to an area where heartworms are more common. Heartworm disease is also spreading to new regions of the country each year. Stray and neglected dogs and certain wildlife such as coyotes, wolves, and foxes can be carriers of heartworms. Mosquitoes blown great distances by the wind and the relocation of infected pets to previously uninfected areas also contribute to the spread of heartworm disease (this happened following Hurricane Katrina when 250,000 pets, many of them infected with heartworms, were “adopted” and shipped throughout the country).
The fact is that heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, and risk factors are impossible to predict. Multiple variables, from climate variations to the presence of wildlife carriers, cause rates of infections to vary dramatically from year to year—even within communities. And because infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk.

heartworm map

What do I need to know about heartworm testing?

Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive disease. The earlier it is detected, the better the chances the pet will recover. There are few, if any, early signs of disease when a dog or cat is infected with heartworms, so detecting their presence with a heartworm test administered by a veterinarian is important. The test requires just a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins. Some veterinarians process heartworm tests right in their hospitals while others send the samples to a diagnostic laboratory. In either case, results are obtained quickly. If your pet tests positive, further tests may be ordered.

Heartworm Prevention

Our doctors here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic recommend heartworm prevention year-round for your dogs AND cats. Regardless if they are strictly indoors or not, all it takes is one mosquito. Here is a list of the heartworm prevention we carry for your pets!

Trifexis (for dogs)


-A once monthly beef flavored chewable tablet that kills fleas and preventions infestations, prevents heartworm disease & treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections. CLICK HERE for more information about Trifexis!

Heartgard Plus (for dogs)


-Once monthly beef flavored chew ,(that is more like giving a treat!), that prevents heartworm infestations in your dog. Heartgard Plus kills heartworm larvae, roundworms & hookworms! CLICK HERE for more information about Heartgard Plus!

ProHeart6 (for dogs)


-An injection given in our clinic that will prevent heartworms in your dog for 6 months!  CLICK HERE to learn more about ProHeart6!

Revolution (for dogs & cats)


-A once monthly topical product that prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas, prevents flea eggs from hatching, prevents & controls flea infestations, treats and controls ear mites and controls American dog tick infestations! CLICK HERE  for more information.

Advantage Multi (for dogs & cats)

advantage multi

-Advantage Multi provides broad spectrum parasite protection by treating & controlling roundworms, hookworms & whipworms while also preventing heartworm disease & treats circulating microfilaria. This once monthly topically applied product also kills adult fleas & treats flea infestations. CLICK HERE  for more information on dog Advantage Multi & CLICK HERE for more information on cat Advantage Multi!

For more information on heartworm disease, CLICK HERE.

If you may have any questions regarding your pet’s heartworm prevention, testing or treatment… please do not hesitate to call us and ask to speak with one of our qualified technicians at 972-385-3555 or email us at:

PDCA Dentals

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We are so excited to be partnering with Animal Dental Care to make available to their Preventive Dental Cleaning & Assessments (PDCA) to you and your pets!

A PDCA is a means to maintain your pet’s teeth while awake, without the use of anesthesia.  This procedure will allow us to truly provide your pet with a treatment plan for their oral cavity by utilizing it between their periodic anesthetic dental cleanings.  More frequent, convenient cleanings paired with the in-home care you provide will lead to healthier teeth and gums for your furry family member!

Pets Need Dental Care, Too.PetDentalCare

All potential candidates for a PDCA should have an examination with one of our doctors first.  During the exam our doctors will ensure your pet is healthy, has been treated for advanced dental disease and displays the proper demeanor for a conscious teeth cleaning.  Please note that not all pets are candidates for this procedure initially due to advanced dental disease, though, our doctors will educate you on how to treat this disease and then put your pet onto a treatment plan utilizing the PDCA.

A PDCA on your awake pet is possible due to the bond formed between Animal Dental Care’s professional, caring technicians and your pet.  Once trust is established, amazing things are possible!  Please call us today for more information on this amazing service!

April 10th
May 8th
June 12th
July 17th
August 14th
September 11th
October 9th
November 6th
December 11th

If you are interested in seeing if your pet would be a candidate for a PDCA dental cleaning, please call us at 972-385-3555, or click the “request appointment” button at the bottom of this page and we will be happy to schedule a consultation for you!

Save The Date For Our Annual Open House!

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We have been very busy here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic preparing for our annual Open House. Dr. Escobedo, Dr. Morse, and Dr. Castro have set the date for Saturday, October 4th from 12:30-2:30pm!

You will enjoy getting to take a behind-the-scenes look at our entire hospital including our surgery, grooming, boarding areas and more!

tour17Get to know the animal doctors that care for your pets!

Did you know that Dr. Morse loves to golf? Or that Dr. Castro is a HUGE Denver Broncos fan? Or that Dr. Escobedo loves sportscars? During our open house you will get a chance to chat with all of them to get to know them better.

Not only will there be fun things for the adults, like goodie bags and raffle items, but we will have plenty of fun stuff for your kiddos to do as well (the two-legged kids). We will have a professional face painter, goodie bags for the kids, snacks & refreshments and they will get to watch a teddy bear surgery and will receive a surprise gift at the end of the demonstration!

We are so excited to get to share our clinic with you and your family!

(*We ask that you please leave your furry family members home during this event due to the number of people we will be expecting. Thank you for your cooperation!**)

Have a great day!


Maya Alexander


Mandy Hall


National Dog Day-August 26th

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What’s better than coming home to a wagging tail & slobbery face? Nothing! Other than multiple wagging tails!!!
National Dog Day is August 26th, so here are a few ways to celebrate!

  • Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with. (CLICK HERE for links to some of our local shelters)
  • Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  • Order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement from and enjoy a 10% discount by using code DOG when placing your order!
  • Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.
  • Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.
  • Buy your dog a fun new dog toy….or two…or five. (We have a great selection of toys for your dog in our Pet Boutique!)
  • Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a dog park or to the lake.
  • Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.
  • Give your dog a massage or spa treatment. (Call us today at 972-385-3555 to schedule an appointment with our grooming department!)
  • Duke Bath
  • Teach your dog a new trick. (CLICK HERE to find a trainer to make your dog the best pet for you and your family)
  • Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash. (We have a wide variety to choose from in our Pet Boutique and can even special order one for your furry family member!)
  • blog9Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.
  • Share your favorite photos of your dog on our Facebook page! (CLICK HERE to “like” our page!)

Have a pawsome day!

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist