Holiday Travel 4-1-1

The holidays are a magical time where family travels from near and far to gather together and celebrate. However, it is not always easy to bring our best friends along for the trip, and accommodations often need to be made. Whether you are boarding your pet, hiring a pet sitter, or traveling with your animal, the following recommendations can help prepare you for what to expect and aid you on how to best take care of your pet during the holidays.

  1. Boarding: Although it can be very hard to leave your pets, boarding them at a veterinary clinic or doggie daycare is sometimes the best option when you need to travel. Many boarding facilities require certain vaccines to be given, so be sure to call ahead and visit your primary care veterinarian before you attend in order to ensure your pet is up to date. Required vaccines often include Rabies, DHPP (aka. Distemper, 4-in-1), and Bordetella (aka. “Kennel Cough”), with some now requiring the canine influenza vaccine. The canine influenza vaccine is a two-booster set given 2-4 weeks apart. A negative fecal sample is also often required to help avoid passing gastrointestinal parasites to other animals. Did you know that we board pets at Norwalk Animal Hospital as well? What better way to have peace of mind that your pet is receiving optimal care while you are gone than having them under the watchful eye of trained veterinarians and technicians? NAH also gives you the option of having services completed while you are away, such as grooming, bathing, exams, vaccinations, surgeries, and more! Call us today to schedule your animal’s next vacation!


  1. Pet Sitter: Bringing your animal to a pet sitter’s house is also a viable option when traveling. It is recommended that your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag with your information on it and are up to date on vaccines before attending. Leaving the sitter with information for your pet’s primary care veterinarian in case of emergency is always a good idea. Even better yet, having someone trustworthy come to watch your pet in the comfort of your own home can be a lot less stressful for anxious animals. Be sure to review your pet’s normal daily routine with the sitter so they can best try to stick to it.


  1. Driving: When traveling in a car with your pet, it is important that you take several precautions to keep them safe. Keeping cats and dogs in a kennel or crate or connected to a seat belt or harness is helpful to keep them off your lap and safely contained. There are multiple car harnesses and seat belts on the market that have been crash tested and proven to be safe for travel with pets.


  • If your pet gets motion sickness while in the car, NAH can help with that as well! Cerenia is a powerful anti-emetic medication helpful for acute vomiting and motion sickness and is available by prescription. Keeping your pet on the floor of your vehicle, as well as keeping the area well ventilated can help too. If your animal gets anxiety from just being in the car, please call us to discuss options to help make the drive more comfortable for them. Lastly, if you are driving long distance, be sure to stop along the way for bathroom breaks and to offer your pet water.
  • Be sure to call ahead to any animal friendly hotels you may be staying at to see what vaccines and paperwork may be required. NAH would be happy to print, e-mail, or fax you or your final destination any vaccination paperwork you may need!


  1. Flying – Whether traveling domestic or international, taking your pet on an airplane can be stressful for everyone involved. Although many people are not aware of this, the airline as well as your final destination determines what paperwork, vaccinations, and special services (microchips, etc.) are required for your pet to stay there. Most of these things need to be done in a time sensitive manner as well. Regardless, when flying to a different country, airports ALWAYS require an International Health Certificate for your pets. Did you know our very own Dr. Stecker is USDA Accredited and does International Health Certificates by appointment? If you plan on flying with your pet in the future, please call Norwalk Animal Hospital to discuss what may be needed and be sure to have the following things in mind: Where are you traveling to? When are you traveling? Is your pet microchipped and if yes, the microchip number? If you are a new client, please have your vaccination records faxed to Norwalk Animal Hospital so that we can accurately bring your pet up to date.

As always, we at Norwalk Animal Hospital are happy to help and assist you with any travel questions or concerns you may have.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Howl-o-ween! – Dr. Wolf’s First Blog Post!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. Apple cider, sweaters, pumpkins, OH MY!
Most of all, many of us here at Norwalk Animal Hospital are huge fans of Halloween. You will often catch us decorating the office and wearing spooky scrubs during the month of October.

Halloween may be all fun and games for us, but it can be terrifying for our animals. Just think about it. Every time that anxiety inducing doorbell rings, the alarm barks go off. Talk about putting the TRICK in Trick or Treat!

There are lots of ways to avoid putting your animals in stressful situations during Halloween.
Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe and calm:

1. Keeping your pet away from the front door avoids accidental escapes and helps decrease visual and auditory stimulus when trick r’ treaters come to visit.
2. Keep calm, act normal, and keep to routine. Believe it or not, your animal can often sense your mood. If the holiday is making you anxious, they are going to feel it too.
3. Try to avoid walking dogs during trick r’ treating hours if you know they are likely to react badly to crowds.
4. If your dog enjoys walks and being social, be watchful that they do not ingest any candy, especially chocolate which can be toxic to dogs, that might have been dropped along the way.
5. Play music or turn on the television to calm dogs and mask scary noises. My dog, Timber, loves classical music!
6. Close the curtains and keep the light on to limit visual stimulation from outside. Having one member of the household sit with the animals in a “soundproof” area such as a basement or bathroom can help as well.
7. Avoid petting and telling your pet that “It’s OK” during scary events, because they are hearing that it is okay to be anxious and bark during these events. Just sitting with them calmly is reward enough.
8. We may think our pet looks adorable in that T-rex costume, however, few dogs actually enjoy dressing up and having unnecessary objects on them can actual heighten anxiety. No one knows your pet better than you, so if your pet looks uncomfortable when you put that pair of bunny ears on them, decide against it.

Remember, it is perfectly fine to ask your veterinarian for help. Some animals are comforted and respond well to a thunder shirt, which is a jacket that wraps snugly around their body. Norwalk Animal Hospital sells these shirts and can help you find the correct fit for your pet. However, sometimes animals have anxiety that is so severe that it requires the help of medication, of which there are several safe options available. Please consult your primary care vet before giving your animals medication.

Sileo is a newer FDA approved medication for the treatment of noise aversion in dogs that comes in an easy to administer tube and is absorbed through the oral mucosa. This medication is known to calm pets without sedating them and has worked well in several of our noise averse patients, especially those that are afraid of thunderstorms. For more information, consult Norwalk Animal Hospital or your primary veterinarian as Sileo may not be recommended for all pets.

Now to end with a TREAT! One of the most common things that come to mind when people think of fall is pumpkins, which when administered correctly can be given to dogs as well. Pumpkin (and pumpkin puree) contains a ton of soluble fiber that can help firm up soft stool, plus, animals tend to love the taste. However, too much can actually cause diarrhea in dogs that cannot tolerate large amounts of fiber, so be sure to ask us at Norwalk Animal Hospital before adding it into your dog’s diet. If you are a big fan of DIY, here is the link to a simple Pumpkin Oat Dog Treat Recipe that my dog, Timber, absolutely loves:

Have a safe and Happy Howl-o-ween!

Promotions and Discounts at Norwalk Animal Hospital

We accept CareCredit! To apply for CareCredit click the link!

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Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are great for birthdays, holidays or just because! Treat your granddog, grandcat, or special furry family member or friend to a grooming, a dental cleaning, a physical rehabilitation treatment or to any service we offer! Gift certificates are available in any amount.

Please give us a call for more details or to purchase one.

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Military Discount

Norwalk Animal Hospital is proud to help out our Military! Discounts are available for Active Duty and Retired military personnel.

Please contact us for more information.

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Norwalk Animal Hospital is now an official distributor of the
Help Em Up Harness!