Monthly Pets First
HowWe Got Here CELEBRATING THE HISTORY OF PETERSEN PET HOSPITAL It’s been just over a year since we opened our new facilities. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients who have gone
“In the beginning, we saw 10–30 patients in a
through this transition with us. When we moved into our new facility, we were terrified that we would lose all our clients because we were in a different location. It was a huge relief to see that most of our clients stuck with us, and even more new people came with their pets over the last year. I cannot express how much your support means to me. When I graduated from veterinary school, I started working in a high-volume, low-cost practice where the goal was to see as many patients as possible. We rushed around all day and never had the opportunity to really talk to clients about their pet’s needs. That wasn’t how I wanted to spend my career. One of my first jobs was working at a local grocery store where the owner emphasized the importance of quality customer service with a smile. I was taught to be nice to customers and make them feel valued during every interaction. It seemed to me that a veterinary practice, where we took care of people’s pets, should at least be on par with the kind of customer service you can get at the grocery store. I didn’t feel like rushing around was doing right by our patients, our clients, or our profession. That’s why I decided to open up my own practice where I could do things my way.
week. Today, we see 40–50 patients a day.”
I opened Petersen Pet Hospital in 2003, after selling my car and buying my friend’s pickup truck for $3,000. My goal was to eliminate as much debt as possible before starting the hospital. Most of my equipment was secondhand, and I only had two employees in addition to myself, so those first six months were very scary. We didn’t know if anyone was going to come through the door or even call! Luckily, I had a lot of friends and family in town who helped spread the word. Plus, I kept a lot of clients frommy previous practices. The reason I put my name on the door is so my old clients who liked working with me would be able to find me again. In the beginning, we saw 10–30 patients in a week. Today, we see 40–50 patients a day. We’ve honestly come so far, and we’ve proven that taking the time to answer questions and treat patients the way we want our own pets to be treated makes a difference. Since 2003, we’ve moved twice in order to accommodate our growing staff and our ever-growing number of patients. Our newest facility features seven exam rooms, one of which is a “comfort room”with a private exit for clients who have to discuss difficult choices or put their pet to rest. We also have separate dental suites and intensive care unit, expanded cat boarding, new dog boarding, and plenty of office space behind the scenes. We spent two years planning out the new facilities, and all the hard work was worth it. We have been nationally recognized after winning the 2019 Merit Award for hospital design. Petersen Pet Hospital was featured in the August edition of DVM360, a nationwide veterinary magazine. You can read the full article at VeterinaryHospitalDesign.dvm360.com/slow-growth-freestanding-hospital .
It is humbling to be where we are today. None of this would be possible without the support of our clients. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
–Dr. Brad Petersen
Petersen Pet Hospital is the 2019 Merit Award for Hospital DesignWinner!
The Highest Stand DR. STEVEN MCGINTY ON WHAT IT MEANS Do you know that kid in the neighborhood everyone can rely on? The kid you can call if you’re going out of town and need someone to watch your dog? When Dr. Steven McGinty was young, he was that kid. “I became known as the go-to guy for taking care of neighborhood pets,”Dr. McGinty says. “I got used to giving pets medicine as a young kid and that interest grew from there. I shadowed some veterinarians while I was in school and realized I wanted to take care of animals for the rest of my life.” Dr. McGinty is originally from Sac City, Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012, he moved to Illinois to work at a low-income, high-volume practice. It wasn’t long before he realized this quick-service style of veterinary care didn’t match his values. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to offer anything less than the highest standard of care,”Dr. McGinty states. “Our animals deserve nothing less. It’s what’s best for them, and it’s what’s best for clients who trust us to care for their pets.”
People love chubby pets. Just look at all the pictures of fat cats and “chonker” pups on the internet. But while pudgy pets might be cute, they are often incredibly unhealthy. Being overweight can dramatically shorten your pet’s lifespan and cause painful cases of arthritis, pancreatitis, or diabetes. Over half of all dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Here are some veterinarian-approved tips for getting your pet to a healthy weight. Make a Schedule Most pets are free-fed, which means they can eat whenever they want and their owners refill the bowl every time it’s empty. The problem is most pets don’t just eat when they’re hungry and free access to their food allows them to overeat. Instead of keeping the bowl full all day, schedule regular feeding times with measured food amounts based on your pet’s breed and age. This will help you keep track of how much your pet is eating. Count Calories If you find yourself giving your pet a lot of treats, take those calories into account and cut down on how much food they get at mealtime. Speaking of calories, pay attention to how much human food your pet consumes. For a small dog, just a small piece of cheese is the equivalent of eating a Big Mac! Treat human food and table scraps like rare treats and don’t let your pet overindulge. Exercise! Just like in humans, exercise is an important step in maintaining a healthy weight in animals. This doesn’t mean you and your dog have to run a marathon together. Regular walks each day can help your dog get moving and shed those extra pounds. Indoor cats can also benefit from play times in the evenings. Any regular physical activity can make a difference. What about diet pet foods? When pets need to lose weight, many owners will look for special weight-loss pet foods first. However, most pets don’t need special food in order to lose weight. Cutting back their regular food with scheduled meals is usually enough to make a huge difference. That said, if you’ve tried everything and your pet isn’t able to lose weight, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. They can help you come up with healthy weight loss strategies for your pet, which could include a prescription pet food diet in extreme circumstances. HOWWEIGHT LOSS HELPS YOUR PET LIVE LONGER
Looking for a new practice closer to home brought Dr. McGinty to Petersen Pet Hospital.
Simple Salmon Cat Treats
Cats can be notoriously picky eaters, which makes finding the right cat treat a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve found a recipe for homemade cat treats that will delight even the most finicky feline.
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The Best National Parks to Visit This Fall
rd of Care TO BE A GREAT VET
Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!
“I liked the focus on preventive medicine at Petersen Pet Hospital and the fact that I would have more one-on-one time to speak with clients. The higher standard of medicine really resonated with me. When I moved back to Iowa, I was happy to come on as an associate veterinarian.”
Dr. McGinty’s passions lie in surgery and dental care, and he’s always thrilled to see clients have been brushing their pet’s teeth. Dr. McGinty has recently become Fear Free certified. Comfort of the patient is his priority in every interaction. In addition to his talents as a veterinarian, Dr. McGinty is also pretty talented in the kitchen. During the holidays, things get “dangerous” around his house, as Dr. McGinty puts it, which means we get to enjoy tons of homemade goodies here at the office! When he’s not cooking or baking, Dr. McGinty plays trumpet in the Kirkwood Community College band. Dr. McGinty shares his home with a 4-year-old corgi named Cricket, an 11-year-old dachshund named Presley, and Cinder, a 6-year-old Siamese-mix.
10 oz canned salmon
2 cups whole wheat flour
1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Pulse canned salmon (undrained) in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine salmon, egg, and flour in a separate bowl until dough forms. If dough is too sticky, add more flour.
3. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick and use cookie cutters to cut out cute shapes.
4. Transfer treats to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned. Remove treats from oven and let cool completely before serving. Treats can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
1031 Kacena Road, Hiawatha, IA 52233 www.PetersenPetHospital.com 319-743-0554
Mon–Fri: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (closed Fridays from 12:30–2:10 p.m. for teammeetings) Sat: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun: Closed
Inside This Issue
Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going
BLACK Is My Pet Too Fat? Quality Care with Dr. Steven McGinty 50% BLACK
Easy 3-Ingredient Cat Treats
The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks
Honoring the Canines of 9/11
The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero
HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to
stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.
Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.
After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org .
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