Animal Clinic of Kalispell - March 2019

Pet Press KALISPELL MAR 2019


PART OF ‘TEAM KALISPELL’ What Makes Kalispell Truly Special?

I had a revelation: My wife and I are (slowly!) turning into that nice, old couple who still show up at high school games and events even after their kids have graduated and we seemingly have no ties. We just love the energy of young people and can’t get enough of them. In our defense, Kalispell has two public high schools in town, and they are both incredible, which fosters raising up kids who really are worth supporting. One fun part about living in a small town is how everyone rallies together to cheer these kids on.

People want to be here — they want to live in Kalispell and make a difference in their community. You can feel this at every level, from the Chamber of Commerce down to the school board. People in Kalispell make a point to invest their time and energy into their kids. This is the kind of thing that you can take for granted if you grew up here, but I’m telling you, Kalispell is one of a kind. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the high schools. There’s a reason these schools are of such high quality. When a community cares about itself and its future, you see that reflected in its schools.

When a community cares about itself and its

When we first moved to Kalispell 11 years ago, they were just opening Glacier High School. Having two high schools didn’t seem like a big deal to me, but for the community it was a massive shift. There was tension about the new school being the “better” school and that the competition between the schools would create a rift. But if anything, the opposite has proven true. Pride in the schools elevated them both. Even if teams root against each other during games, we’re still a very cohesive town. You can see that dedication in our kids as they compete and perform, striving to take advantage of what the community has given them.

Even though both of our kids have graduated, my wife and I still really enjoy seeing high school football and volleyball games in the fall and basketball games in the winter. We judge for Speech and Debate and hit all the concerts and theater productions throughout the year. We want to be home on the weekends when they need judges for these events.

future, you see that reflected in its schools.

If you told my high school self that I would still want to go to high school events as an adult, I would have never believed you. I’m sure there are plenty of people in the community who attended Flathead High School or Glacier High who think I’m crazy, but there is something truly special about the community in Kalispell. There’s a family feel. When people move away, they almost always come back, because there’s just nowhere else like Kalispell.

I may be a transplant, but Kalispell is truly my home. It’s a privilege to be here, and I love being able to see the next generation find themselves while learning what it means to be part of this community.

—Dr. Jevon Clark 406.755.6886


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REMEMBERING TAYLOR THE Smart but Str Usually I let one of my pets use this article to show off, but this month I wanted to talk about what it’s like to live with a pet who has anxiety issues. A lot of people are embarrassed to admit when their dog or cat has bad behavior, or they feel bad about sometimes wanting to abandon their pet in an empty parking lot. I’ve been there. I may be a vet, but even I get frustrated with my pets. One of the most intelligent dogs I ever had was a springer spaniel named Taylor. She was the kind of dog who liked to learn and follow instructions. If I told her to lie down, she’d hang out on her bed for hours. When we were hunting or fishing, she was totally in her element. There were times when Taylor knew what I wanted before I could even say it. But I’m not proud to say that there were also times throughout her life that she just drove me batty and I considered dumping her in the woods. Taylor had anxiety issues that manifested a little differently. She was hyper-attached to just me. That meant anytime I left she assumed she was being abandoned completely even if the rest of the family was right there. Many dogs with anxiety are intelligent, they want to Dr. Clark here.


While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion. Do you know what you’re getting into? Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet-related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment. Does an animal fit your lifestyle? When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle. For example, dogs are one of the most high- maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. Is your family ready? Every family is different, and it’s important to have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home. Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you.

Shamrockin’ Dog Treats

There aren’t any shamrocks in this recipe, but these treats are green, minty, and

the perfect excuse to break out the clover-shaped cookie cutters. Inspired by The Everyday Dog Mom.


• • • • • • •

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup quick oats

2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped 10–12 drops green food coloring



ssed Out



How Pet Owners Can Address Anxiety

follow orders and when they’re left alone they are anxious because nobody is telling them what they should do next. This is why anxiety is a common problem in hunting or herding breeds like springers, border collies, and shepherds. Taylor passed away many years ago, after a long, happy life that didn’t involve being left in the woods. I learned that many anxious dogs actually love being in a kennel, because they know the rules there. It’s a safe space where they can hang out and wait. After we kennel-trained Taylor, she loved the routine and was happy to wait in the kennel for 10 minutes while I ran to the store, or for four hours until I came home to let her out at lunch. Kennels definitely aren’t the answer for every anxious dog, but it was a lesson to me on how, with the right tools, you can deal with your pet’s anxiety problems. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because finding a system that works is the best thing for you and your dog.

“I’d love to take a vacation, but we can’t leave the dog alone for that long.”

“We just can’t take him anywhere!”

“Sorry, I can’t come out after work. I have to go home to see what mess my dog made.”

Pets bring a lot of joy into our lives, but when bad behavior becomes a problem, it’s not uncommon for people to fall out of love with their pets. The No. 1 reason pets end up at the shelter is behavioral problems. Quite often, these problems are a byproduct of anxiety, which can be addressed! Here’s what every pet lover needs to know about animal anxiety. Signs of Animal Anxiety In dogs, anxiety tends to manifest as destructive behavior. Some dogs destroy the inside of the house or hurt themselves trying to break out of their kennel. Even being outside isn’t enough to address anxiety. Anxious dogs who spend their days outside might rip the siding off the house or dig holes. Other signs of anxiety include vocalization (constant barking) or inappropriate urination and defecation. Cats can suffer from anxiety too. Some cats exhibit destructive behavior, like peeing outside the litter box or tearing up the carpet, but cats with anxiety most often show personality changes. They might have a different sleep pattern, not want to sit in the living room with you anymore, spend a lot of time hiding, or refuse to go outside. Training, time, and patience — Anxiety is a behavioral problem, which means that training your pet to change their behavior is the best way to improve the situation. There are plenty of great trainers in the Kalispell area who can help your pet learn how to respond better to normal situations. Supplements — Introducing certain supplements to your pet’s diet or environment can help them relax. For example, a pheromone diffuser can be useful in addressing feline anxiety and we have specific amino acid supplements for cats and dogs to help alleviate stress Drug therapy — There is no “magic pill” to cure anxiety. There are some prescription medications that can help with anxiety, but they are only used as a tool in addition to training in severe cases. When it comes to dealing with anxiety, both pets and their owners must work together. If your pet’s bad behavior has you at your wits’ end, don’t feel embarrassed about talking to the veterinary team at The Animal Clinic of Kalispell. We might be able to help you address the problem, so you can fall in love with your pet again. How to Manage Anxiety Here are a few ways to deal with anxiety in your pet:


1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line

baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Combine flour, water, coconut oil, oats, mint, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix well until it forms a ball of dough. 3. Add food coloring and knead until dough becomes the desired shade of green. 4. Roll dough to 1/4–1/2-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into various shapes. 5. Place on lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes. 6. Make sure treats cool completely before letting your dogs dig in. Treats can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks.







Kalispell Makes the Grade


Should You Get a Pet?

Remembering Taylor


Homemade Treats for Your Lucky Dog

Can Pets Experience Anxiety?


How to Make Your Sailing Dreams Come True


If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation.

thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12-foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply.

Take a Day Sail

Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar with the waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter. However, if you are inexperienced or simply don’t want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option.

Start Small

Do a Full Charter

For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one- sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16-foot catamarans for rent as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride. If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great

Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living

out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful

destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbors is the stuff of real adventure.



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