Routine and Preventative Care

Frequently Asked Questions

If a question you have doesn’t appear below, please don’t hesitate to call us or complete our contact form, and we will be glad to assist you.

What should I be doing to keep my pet(s) happy and healthy?

Pet wellness is about taking the necessary measures to prevent illness whenever possible and about early detection. When we are proactive about your companion’s care, we can more effectively manage his or her health, improving the chances of a long, happy life. At Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital in Elkin, we want to do everything we can to keep your pet happy and healthy. It starts with a commitment to ongoing wellness care.

Each time you bring your pet in for an exam, we are able to capture a snapshot of his or her current health. This allows us to compare our future exam results to identify any changes as soon as they occur. Early detection of an illness means we can treat health problems in the timeliest, most effective manner. Not only can this improve the chances of a good outcome, but it’s also a much more affordable way to manage your pet’s health.

Another important component of wellness care is the chance it provides to protect your pet against many common ailments. We will develop a customized plan that will be tailored for your pet based on his or her lifestyle and risk factors. This will include an individualized vaccination protocol, steps to prevent and control parasites, nutritional guidance, behavioral advice and much more. Our goal is to stay a step ahead of illness as much as possible so that your pet can enjoy a high quality of life.

Finally, routine wellness visits allow all of us at Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital in Elkin to get to know you and your pet better. Interacting with your loved one on a regular basis will help us build a bond based on trust. This will make visits to our veterinary hospital a more positive experience and greatly improve the quality of the care that we deliver.

You want your pet to enjoy a long, fulfilling life and so do we! Our wellness services are available for pets of all ages. Call today to get started!

What should I feed my pet(s)?

Dr. Brinegar will work with you to create an individualized nutrition plan for your pet(s). Begin discussing the newest and best foods for your pet at your wellness visits. Dr. Brinegar is able to advise you on the most current research in this area, as well as the newest pet food products.

How often should my pet(s) be vaccinated?

Dogs and cats should be vaccinated annually during a visit with a thorough physical exam to ensure they are adequately protected against the most common diseases.  We currently recommend that cats should be vaccinated against Rabies starting at 16 weeks of age then annually.  Dogs should be vaccinated against Rabies starting at 16 weeks of age then boostered within one year of the first vaccination then triennially as long as the vaccination does not lapse.

Should my dog be on heartworm medication? What happens if I miss a dose of heartworm medication?

Due to guidelines established by the American Association of Veterinary Cardiologists and the American Heartworm Society, the Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital in Elkin can not offer the option of declining an annual heartworm test. In order for your pet(s) to be on a heartworm preventative, they must have a current physical exam and a negative heartworm test.

If you miss a dose or doses of heartworm preventative, please contact our office immediately.

How does my pet get fleas and ticks?

Pets get fleas from other animals – pets, strays or local wildlife. The flea eggs get spread by these animals, and they are dropped into your yard or environment. As the eggs mature, the fleas jump onto your pet. Ticks are usually picked up in the woods or high grasses, typically where they wait patiently for a host. They linger until a human or animal “vehicle” walks by, and then hitch a ride on the animal fur, human clothes, or skin. While keeping a pet clean helps prevent some infestations, even indoor pets can pick up parasites. A good preventive is your best insurance against these annoying and unhealthy pests.

Is a flea collar a good choice for my pet?

Fleas have become resistant to a common insecticide used in many over-the-counter preventatives such as flea collars. We recommend that you discuss the proper preventative for your pet(s) with Dr. Brinegar at your pet’s annual wellness appointment.

When should I start a training program for my pet?

Training any animal begins as soon as you bring your new pet home. Even a young puppy or kitten will respond to repeated rewards for good behavior. We recommend enrolling in obedience training classes. This will equip you with tools for fundamental training, such as house-training, and give both demonstration and hands-on experience.
Behavioral problems should be brought up at your pet’s annual wellness visit, where we can discuss the issues and give you expert advice or guidance.

How do I introduce a new pet into a home with an existing pet(s)?

Dr. Brinegar recommends that you quarantine your new pet until he/she has a “good clean bill of health”. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your new pet.