On behalf of the staff at Stafford Animal Hospital, we are honored to pay respect to our beloved animal friends who have passed.



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Hip Dysplasia


#Hip #dysplasia most commonly affects large and giant-breed dogs, however, smaller dogs can also be affected. #StaffordAnimalHospital #VA


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First Time Clients!


New clients receive 10% off the first visit! Sign up today! >> http://ow.ly/mOau30cExyK #StaffordAnimalHospital #Stafford #VA


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Most animals give #birth without any complications, however, mothers occasionally need help with delivery. #StaffordAnimalHospital #Stafford


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Let us know how you & your #pet are loving #StaffordAnimalHospital! Please take a moment to leave us a #review >> ow.ly/Yz37308M2eV

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Protecting Pets from Predators


Lions, and tigers, and bears… Oh my! Well, you may not have tigers to contend with, but mountain lions could be an issue. Check with your local wildlife department for tips on animals that are in your area. Even the cute fuzzy ones could pose a problem to your pet, so make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date. Incidents of rabies outbreaks have been noted in certain parts of the country. To make things more complex, urbanization has created a unique situation of habitat encroachment, and wildlife view domesticated pets as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Foxes and coyotes have become increasingly bold with wildlife officials issuing warnings against feeding wild animals, which brings us to our tips:

  • Feed your pet indoors. Don’t leave food outside to attract rodents and raccoons, which also attract other predators. Pets that are eating outdoors will be distracted and less aware of threats.
  • If you spot hawks or eagles in the area, don’t leave your dog unsupervised. Keep kitty indoors.
  • If you must leave your dog outdoors, invest in a dog run with a cover. This is effective against raptors and mountain lions.
  • Coyotes are clever hunters. They will send out a single coyote to bait a dog into chasing it and the pack will ambush a dog. Keep your dog leashed or fenced with tall privacy fences.
  • Owls hunt at dusk and in the dark. The great horned owls can lift animals several times their weight, up to 20 pounds. Keep an eye out for these aerial predators swooping under street lamps as they sometimes eat moths attracted there. If they live in your neighborhood, do not let your dog out at night without a leash. Make nighttime potty breaks very brief.
  • Dog Clothing. Yes folks, dog clothing can save your pet’s life. I encountered a Yorkie on a walk several years back (before BaxterBoo even existed) and commented on her attire. Her owner said her vet advised her to dress her dog in flamboyant, non-natural attire as it would make the dog appear less like a natural prey menu item to hawks and eagles. If that doesn’t convince you, I read a story on a chihuahua web site with photographs of a brave little chi with a puncture wound that would have been much worse had the dog not been wearing a heavy coat and been leashed.
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Dog Nutrition



A dog is a dog is a dog, right? Not quite – at least when we’re talking nutrition. While dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes do have similar nutritional needs, there are some subtle but important differences that owners should be aware of.

I’ve talked before about the importance of lifestage feeding. In other words, puppies should eat puppy food, adults should eat adult food, and so on. Today, I’d like to touch on some of the differing nutritional needs of small versus large breeds of dogs.

First, the puppies. Large breed puppies are prone to developmental orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia. Feeding these individuals diets that are a little less energy dense, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorous, and have a very carefully balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio has been proven to reduce the incidence of developmental orthopedic diseases in large and giant breeds of dogs.

Small breed puppies have their own unique concerns. They have extremely high metabolic rates and can burn through a meal in just a matter of hours. If a small breed puppy doesn’t take in sufficient numbers of calories on a frequent basis, it can develop hypoglycemia resulting in weakness, lethargy, muscle tremors, seizures, and sometimes even death. Young, small breed puppies should be fed a calorie-dense food three or four times a day.

The differing metabolic rate of small versus large breed dogs continues into adulthood, which means that small dogs need to take in more calories per pound than large dogs. For example, a ten pound dog may need 400 calories (kcal) per day to maintain a healthy weight, while a 100 pound dog could require 2,250 calories per day.

A little math reveals that the small dog requires 40 calories/pound, while his large breed friend needs only 22.5 calories/pound. Combine this with the fact that small dogs have tiny stomachs and you’ll see why most foods designed for small breeds are somewhat more calorie rich than large breed diets.

Dogs of differing sizes also have special needs when they reach their senior years. Small breeds of dogs can live a very long time and high dietary levels of antioxidants can help prevent free radical damage over such a long life span. On the other hand, it seems like almost every older, large breed dog suffers from some degree of arthritis. For this reason, diets formulated especially for big, senior dogs typically contain ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate that promote joint health. Of course, small dogs can also benefit from glucosamine and large dogs need antioxidants, but their diets can be tweaked to address their most common health concerns.

Even if your miniature pincher likes to take on the big boys and your mastiff thinks he’s a lap dog, they can benefit from eating a well-balanced, nutritionally complete food specifically designed for dogs their size.

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