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Forest Hills, New York
USA

917-396-4041

A premiere provider of in-home veterinary services for cats, dogs and small mammals. HomeFront Veterinary House Calls offers a number of benefits over a visit to the doctors office. Saving time and providing their clients with peace of mind, HomeFront will come to their patients, whether it be a home or office. For additional information or to make an appointment please contact us

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FAQ | HomeFront Veterinary

At HomeFront ,we try to answer all your Pet Health questions in a way that is easy to understand. 

At HomeFront we try to answer all your Pet Health questions in a way that is easy to understand.  Please feel free to email Dr. Kristie with your questions and she will answer them personally.

How does the process of euthanasia happen?

Euthanizing a pet is the most difficult decision most pet owners ever have to make. Knowing what to expect can make the process much easier and less stressful.  At Homefront Veterinary House Calls, we pride ourselves on providing the compassionate expert care that you and your pet deserve. When scheduling an appointment for in-home euthanasia, it is important to include any family members that would like to say goodbye, as well as friends that may assist you as a strong emotional support system. We try to accommodate these schedules by offering evening and weekend hours, and the service can be provided at the location of your choice. Some owners choose to hold the pet in their lap during the procedure, while others opt for a favorite pet bed or a favorite spot in the yard. The most important thing is the comfort of you and your pet. Once the appointment has been made, Dr. Kristie will discuss options such as crematory services with you so that all arrangements can be made ahead of time.  If you choose to use a crematory service, Dr. Kristie will coordinate with the crematory agency to make arrangements for you, and she will prepare any necessary paperwork ahead of time for you.

In Greek, the term “euthanasia” means “good death”.  Euthanasia is a gift that a pet owner can give to a terminally ill or suffering pet to ease the transition from life to death. The euthanasia process begins with giving a sedative injection which makes the pet comfortable and free of pain. After the sedative takes full effect, the pet is not usually aware of any further actions of the euthanasia process. Once the sedative has taken effect (usually 3-5 minutes) and when you are ready, Dr. Kristie will place a small catheter in a vein to administer the euthanasia solution. The euthanasia solution induces a quick and painless passing. You are able to hold and pet your pet during the entire procedure. After the procedure you may spend as much time as necessary with your pet. Dr. Kristie will make sure that all after-life services with the crematory agency are in place, and if you would like, she will prepare a clay paw print of your pet for you to keep as a reminder of your devoted friend.

We understand that a pet is part of the family. If you choose to have your pet cremated and the cremains, or ashes, returned to you they will be returned to you your home within 10 to 14 days.


How do I maintain a healthy weight for my pet?

Pet obesity in America is becoming an epidemic in recent years.  The most common reason for pet obesity is overfeeding. A pet has different nutritional needs based on the species, age, activity level, and medical condition.  We would be happy to discuss all of these factors with you to determine the best nutritional recommendations for your dog, cat, or small mammal. Just as in people, obesity in animals can lead to other health problems, including arthritis and diabetes.  To determine if your pet is obese, and to learn what to do about it, please see our November 2011 newsletter.


How do I prevent parasites?

Fleas and ticks are the most common parasites that we see on pets. They not only cause skin irritation and possibly infection, they can also carry other diseases and parasites, some of which are transmissible to people. Heartworms and intestinal parasites are also a concern. Heartworm disease can be fatal if left untreated, and some intestinal parasites can cause profuse diarrhea leading to potentially fatal dehydration. We recommend a year-round preventative program consisting of flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Most heartworm preventatives will also deworm for intestinal parasites. We also recommend having your pet’s feces tested for parasites at least yearly, or more often if your pet develops diarrhea or soft feces.


Should I microchip my pet?

We recommend microchipping for all of our patients. Microchipping gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet should the two of you become separated. The microchip is a small device (about the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted using a simple injection method….it does not require anesthesia or sedation and is no more painful than an injection.  Once the chip is implanted, a number can be scanned from the chip. You register your information with this unique number with the microchip company so that your information is associated with your pet if it becomes lost. If you move, you simply change your information with the microchip company. Some countries require microchips for traveling. For more information, read about our microchipping services on our website.


Can I give my pets people medication?

In 2010 the ASPCA listed human medications in the top 10 pet toxins. Many human medications can kill a pet. Dogs, cats, and small mammals cannot process many medications like people, so the medication causes kidney or liver failure, or cardiac arrest.  Human pain or arthritis medications can be especially toxic. It is never safe to administer any medication to your pet without consulting your veterinarian first.  If your pet ingests human medication (or anything toxic), consult a local veterinary clinic or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.


How often should I feed my puppy?

Puppies should be fed three times a day until they reach 6 months of age.  After 6 months, you can gradually reduce the number of feedings to twice a day.  Giving a puppy regularly scheduled meals will help to establish a routine, which will help with all aspects of training. In addition to a healthy diet make sure your puppy stays up to date with vaccinations.


How much should I feed my puppy?

Most puppy foods have a chart or recommendation on the packaging to determine how much your puppy should be eating.  The amount of food needed will depend on the type of food, and the puppy’s age, weight, activity level, and any coinciding medical conditions. It is always good to have a discussion about nutrition with your veterinarian at the puppy’s first visit.


How long should I feed puppy food to my puppy?

In general, you should feed your puppy a puppy food until it is one year of age.  The puppy will have most of its growth by this time.  If you have concerns about your puppy’s growth or the amount or brand of food you should choose, consult your veterinarian.


Why is my puppy eating its own poop?

Puppies will often eat their own feces as an instinctive behavior, or as an imitation of the mother’s behavior. In the wild, animals hide, cover, or otherwise eliminate their feces to prevent detection from predators. This instinct to “cover any tracks” is instinctive and may partially explain why your puppy eats its own feces.  Mother dogs will also eat the feces of puppies and clean them while they are still nursing, and some puppies will imitate this behavior.  Some puppies will grow out of this behavior, but some won’t. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations if your puppy continues to eat feces.


Why do dogs eat grass?

Many people think dogs eat grass to settle an upset stomach. This may be true, but the real answer is….nobody knows why they eat grass.   Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and vegetables, so they will eat anything that fulfills their basic dietary requirements.  Eating grass can stimulate the dog to vomit, which may be a goal if it has an upset stomach, but it is thought that most dogs eat grass out of boredom or just because it’s there. The good news is that eating grass has no negative side effects, as long as the grass hasn’t been treated with any pesticides or other chemicals.


Why is my dog always scratching and licking?

There are many reasons dogs scratch and lick themselves. Environment, nutrition, parasites, allergies, and different medical conditions may all play a role.   If your dog is scratching and licking excessively, it is important that it be checked by a veterinarian to determine the cause.  If the cause is not addressed, the condition may progress to a skin infection or may spread to other areas of the body. Sometimes scratching and licking at a particular area of the body can be an indicator of pain or discomfort. Some causes of scratching may also be contagious to people.

At HomeFront we try to answer all your Pet Health questions in a way that is easy to understand.  Please feel free to email Dr. Kristie with your questions and she will answer them personally.


Should I microchip my pet?

We recommend microchipping for all of our patients. Microchipping gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet should the two of you become separated. The microchip is a small device (about the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted using a simple injection method….it does not require anesthesia or sedation and is no more painful than an injection.  Once the chip is implanted, a number can be scanned from the chip. You register your information with this unique number with the microchip company so that your information is associated with your pet if it becomes lost. If you move, you simply change your information with the microchip company. Some countries require microchips for traveling. For more information, read about our microchipping services on our website.


Can I give my pets people medication?

In 2010 the ASPCA listed human medications in the top 10 pet toxins. Many human medications can kill a pet. Dogs, cats, and small mammals cannot process many medications like people, so the medication causes kidney or liver failure, or cardiac arrest.  Human pain or arthritis medications can be especially toxic. It is never safe to administer any medication to your pet without consulting your veterinarian first.  If your pet ingests human medication (or anything toxic), consult a local veterinary clinic or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.


How often should I feed my puppy?

Puppies should be fed three times a day until they reach 6 months of age.  After 6 months, you can gradually reduce the number of feedings to twice a day.  Giving a puppy regularly scheduled meals will help to establish a routine, which will help with all aspects of training. In addition to a healthy diet make sure your puppy stays up to date with vaccinations.


Are purebred dogs better than mix breed dogs?

When you get a purebred dog, you know what to expect as the dog gets older. For example, you have a good idea of what size, color, hair coat, and temperament the dog will have.  The benefit of having a mix breed dog is that they generally have fewer genetic problems.


When do puppies get permanent teeth?

The baby teeth of a puppy start to come out around 3 ½ months of age.  They usually have all of their adult teeth by 6 months old.  If your puppy is older than 8 months and still has baby teeth, ask your veterinarian about removing the remaining baby teeth.  Retained baby teeth can cause dental problems by trapping plaque and bacteria between the adult teeth, and should be removed.


Will spaying or neutering change my dog’s personality?

Altering your pet will not change its natural character or instincts.  In general, spaying or neutering may cause a pet to become calmer because it no longer has the drive to reproduce, so it has fewer tendencies to roam, fight, and become aggressive toward other animals.  Despite what some pet owners think, pets do not suffer emotional damage or identity problems after being spayed or neutered.  Altering your pet greatly reduces its risk of developing cancer or life-threatening infection in the reproductive organs later in life.


When is the best age for spaying or neutering my pet?

We generally recommend neutering your pet around 6 months of age. This allows the pet to reach most of its growth potential and develop its immune system sufficiently before the stress of surgery.  There is no reason to allow a female pet to experience its first heat cycle before altering it.  Waiting greater than 1 year of age to alter your pet, especially for females, increases the likelihood that they will develop mammary tumors in the future.


How long is a dog or cat pregnant?

Dogs and cats are pregnant, on average, for 63 days (or 9 weeks).


What is a dog’s normal temperature?

Normal temperature for a dog is between 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  An accurate temperature is taken with a rectal thermometer.


Should I test my cat for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS?

We recommend that all cats be tested for these viruses. A cat can have one of these viruses and not have any symptoms, but can spread the disease to other cats in the household.  We recommend that all kittens or any new cats be tested, as well as any cats that go outside and may be exposed to other cats. The test is a simple blood test. There are vaccines against Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS, but both have risks and should be discussed with your veterinarian to determine the risks versus the benefits. Take a look at our Cat Packages for information.


Do you recommend declawing for my cat?

We do not recommend declawing for cats, but we realize that this becomes a necessary request for some owners to be able to keep a cat.  Declawing consists of removing the last piece of bone of each toe, the piece from which the nail grows.  Declawing can be a painful experience, especially for older, heavier cats.  Cats that have been declawed must remain indoors for the rest of their lives. Alternatives to declawing, such as frequent nail trims and Soft Paws application should be considered before making the decision to declaw your cat.


What do I do about hairballs in my cat?

There are several pastes available commercially for the treatment of hairballs. Most cats love the taste of the paste and will take it readily. There are also foods available that incorporate hairball remedies in the food. Brushing  your cat frequently to remove any excess hair will also help, so that the cat ingests less hair during grooming.


What should I do if my cat is not eating or is acting listless?

Anorexia, or not eating, can be a symptom of serious disease in cats.  Cats that go for prolonged periods without eating can develop further problems, such as fatty liver.  If your cat refuses to eat for greater than 24 hours, it should be examined by a veterinarian.  There are several medical conditions that can cause anorexia. If your cat is also not drinking it may be become dehydrated and weak, and should be receive veterinary care immediately.


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