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Dear Santa: Words of Wisdom From Becker College Veterinarian

Vlad Poptamas



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Reading Time: 3 minutes


Dear Santa:

I’m writing to you as the mom of three boys who would absolutely love a puppy for Christmas. Oh, the joy a puppy would bring on Christmas morning. It would be priceless! Our dog, Biscuit, an 8-year-old beagle mix, is a celebrity in our house, outranking mom and dad on a regular basis. Santa, the boys have been so good this year, and I say that with a forgiving heart and not the heart of a mom who just last weekend reminded the little one that throwing snowballs inside the house is a violation of the rules.

But here’s the thing, Santa. While it would make for an epic – and yes, that’s the word the boys would use – Christmas to see the joy that would erupt when a furry little puppy with a big red bow emerges from under the tree, it simply should not be. Now I know I sound more like Ebenezer Scrooge than a kind, loving mother. But it simply can’t happen this way in our house, Santa. Just as a stork didn’t swoop down and bestow three boys on us unexpectedly one night, you should not deliver a new four-legged family member to us as a “gift”.

A new pet is a new family member and should not be put in the same category as a toy car or the latest video game, which after a few hours of playtime end up in the Toy Room Hall of Fame or lost under a bed. You see, Santa, my boys are the lucky—or unlucky—children of a veterinarian.

If and when we do bring a new pet into our home, there will be dozens of teachable moments that will last a lifetime. Before we decide on a pet and where we will get it, we will talk about sizes and breeds that will suit our family. We’ll talk about puppy versus dog, ultimately settling on a dog because this vet mom feels better taking in an adult dog in need of a home than a puppy who still has that adoptability advantage based on its cuteness. As a family we will make sure the house and yard are ready to safely contain our new pet, discussing hazards the puppy may take an interest in, like electrical cords and toxic foods such as grapes, raisins, chocolate, and gum containing Xylitol. Getting Chinese food is certainly a treat in our house. But a wooden teriyaki skewer tops this vet mom’s list of hazards because they are harmful if swallowed and cannot be seen on an X-ray. Preparation will include a discussion about costs: adoption fees, food, supplies, flea, tick, and other preventions. That’s on top of vaccinations and unplanned veterinary costs, including surgical and emergency care. We will consider pet insurance, the benefits, the drawbacks, and how it will add to our monthly bills. We will discuss how we hope this new dog will have the same calming presence that Biscuit has, assisting with moments of anxiety rampant in our house. But we’ll be realistic and understand that every dog is different. We could end up with a nervous, loud, or destructive dog, and while training can help, there may be challenges. Finally, we will discuss the hard realities of life; some animals encounter unexpected illness or accidents and, even when all goes well, there is still the inevitable aging process and the short lifespan of pets.

So yes, Santa, a puppy tops their list, but please ignore it. I’ll take the fall for you, letting them know mom asked this wish go unanswered. The joy of bringing a new pet into our home comes with big lessons about commitment, responsibility, love, life, and loss.

Thank you, Santa.

Julie Bailey

Julie Bailey, DVM, is Dean of Becker College’s School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences and Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences who spent the past 15 years as a veterinarian, working in emergency medicine and surgery. Becker College, located in Worcester and Leicester, Mass., is an undergraduate and graduate, career-focused private college, with distinctive programs in animal studies, game design, nursing, and more.

SOURCE Becker College


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AniCura Presents Quality and Sustainability Report for 2018 – Commits to Reduce Antibiotic use by Half

Betty Tűndik



Reading Time: 2 minutes


AniCura, one of Europe’sleading providers of high-quality veterinary care for companion animals, presents its quality and sustainability report for 2018 and commits to reduce the company’s antibiotic use by half until 2030.

Since 2015, AniCura has issued an annual quality report covering the developments within quality and patient safety as well as antibiotic use among AniCura’s clinics. During 2018, the majority of AniCura’s clinics reduced unnecessary use of antibiotics, and at one third of the clinics antibiotic use was reduced with more than 30 percent. Now, the company accelerates its efforts to counteract the spread of resistant bacteria and commits to reduce antibiotic use by half until year 2030.

– Resistant bacteria are today one of the most serious threats against human and animal health, driven by overconsumption of antibiotics and poor hygiene standards in health care. A wiser use of antibiotics is a key undertaking for us and we aim to reduce our antibiotic use by half, says Ulrika Grönlund, Group Medical Quality Manager AniCura.

AniCura’s quality and sustainability report is the first of its kind in the veterinary industry and covers the developments within the nine focus areas of QualiCura, AniCura’s medical quality program. In 2018, AniCura engaged with its stakeholders to take a holistic perspective on sustainability and the report for 2018 covers besides quality and antibiotic use also the company’s work to develop sustainable working conditions, support pet owners in preventive health measures as well as AniCura’s environmental impact.

– I’m proud over the fact that we are recognized for our quality development agenda and the annual quality report issued every year. This year we have taken the report a step further by including key areas of sustainability as we know sustainable veterinary care is of high importance to both customers and employees. The purpose of our report is to provide transparency around our operations and share our learnings with the entire market to inspire further development, says Peter Dahlberg, CEO AniCura.



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Hydrite® Enters Pet Food Market with HydriPet™ Product Line

Betty Tűndik



Providing Creative Solutions for Pet Food and Treats
Reading Time: 1 minute


Hydrite Chemical Co., an integrated manufacturer and supplier of chemicals and related services, is pleased to announce the launch of its new HydriPet™ product line. Hydrite offers a full range of chemicals and solutions for food processing and food safety applications including an extensive line of human food grade ingredients, preservatives, sanitation, and water treatment products serving pet food manufacturers.

As an extension of Hydrite’s successful food processing business, the development of the HydriPet™ product line is a fitting segue into the pet food market.  A significant product in the line is the HydriPet™ VG 105.  It is made in the USA, non-GMO, organic compliant, manufactured via hydrolysis, and composed of the preferred natural coconut glycerin.

Additionally, FoodSafe Technologies™ announced that its SafeNature™ brand of natural and botanical antioxidant products are now available to the pet food industry and pet food co-packers through Hydrite® and the HydriPet™ brand.

Read more.

Brian Wood, Director – HydriPet™ Ingredient and Sanitation Solutions for Hydrite, commented, “We are excited to launch our HydriPet™ product line.  Offering human-grade ingredients coupled with leading edge sanitation programs are examples of our commitment to continuous improvement in pet food safety and quality.”

Hydrite has developed a reputation within the industry for providing the distinct combination of excellence in manufacturing and distribution with the most comprehensive level of technical expertise available.  To learn more, visit: or call 262-792-1450.


SOURCE: Hydrite Chemical Co.

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Introducing Lintbells: UK’s #1 Vet Recommended Dog Joint Supplement Company Launches in the USA

Betty Tűndik



YuMove Soft Chews relieve dog joint stiffness and support mobility with visible results within the first 60-days of use.
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Lintbells launches into US market with YuMOVE Soft Chews, a once daily supplement that relieves dog joint stiffness and supports mobility with visible results within the first 60-days

The UK’s market leader in dog joint supplements, Lintbells, has launched in the United States with the introduction of their most popular product, which currently helps over 1 Million dogs in Europe: YuMOVE Soft Chews.

YuMOVE Soft Chews are a joint supplement that promotes joint and cartilage health in dogs of all breeds and sizes. Made from all-natural, human-grade, non-GMO ingredients, the secret to YuMOVE Soft Chews’ success comes from Lintbells own “ActivEase Green Lipped Mussel” (or GLM).

GLM, a superfood derived from the purest sources in New Zealand, is an essential ingredient with extraordinary properties that improves joint function, mobility, and reduces discomfort in our dogs. This unique ingredient, rich with more Omega 3s than any other GLM, is naturally anti-inflammatory, meaning our dog’s stiff joints are eased naturally.

For dogs struggling with symptoms caused by joint issues, YuMOVE Soft Chews can be incorporated into any dog’s diet or routine and given once per day for guaranteed, visible results. “An active dog is a happy dog. And, by offering just one chew per day, you’ll see a visible difference in your dog within two months,” said John Howie, CEO and Co-Founder of Lintbells. “YuMOVE won’t just change your dog’s life for the better- but, yours too.”

Every dog from the age of 7 should be on a joint supplement.

Dog owners don’t always know if their dog needs to be taking a joint supplement in the first place. While supplements play an important role for senior dogs, dogs that are really active, or in the recovery process after surgery, there are several lesser known signs and symptoms to watch out for and consider.

“Dogs don’t show how they’re feeling in the way humans do and can’t tell us when they’re hurt or uncomfortable,” said Howie. “Their signs and symptoms of joint stiffness unfortunately often go unnoticed by pet parents who want the best for their dogs, but just don’t know there’s an issue to address in the first place.”

Common signs of stiffness or joint difficulty in our dogs include: lagging behind on walks, difficulties rising after rest, sleeping more, irritability, anxiety, or being reluctant to walk, run, jump and play.

By adding just one YuMOVE Soft Chew to a dog’s daily routine, they will enjoy a more active lifestyle, more playtime, and feel healthier and happier overall.

YuMOVE Soft Chews are available in 30-day packs, and three sizes: Small Dog (up to 35lb), Medium Dog (36-65lb) and Large Dog (over 65lb). YuMOVE Soft Chews start at $24.50 and can be purchased online at


SOURCE: Lintbells

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