Pet Sounds

Pet Sounds (20)

Friday, 21 October 2016 19:23

Hazardous Substances for Pets

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Listen as Dr. Mindy Cohan talks with Kathy about things to keep out of your pet's reach! 

Hazardous Substances for Pets 

While people may try to resist the temptation of chocolate, dogs never have the willpower to say, “No.” This accounts for the reason animal poison control hotlines receive more calls about chocolate than any other ingested substance. Although cats can also be affected by chocolate, they rarely give in to their sweet tooth like dogs. Chocolate and coffee contain xanthine alkaloids, the substance which is responsible for the side effects animals experience if they ingest either product. The xanthine alkaloid in coffee is caffeine and chocolate contains theobromine.  Dogs can ingest many types of chocolate including candy bars, cookies, brownies, cocoa mulch and holiday treats such as chocolate hearts and bunnies. The amount of theobromine ingested is dependent upon the type of chocolate and the amount consumed. Baking chocolate poses the greatest risk, while white chocolate is the most benign type of chocolate in terms of theobromine content. Symptoms of chocolate or coffee ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death. If your dog consumes either chocolate or coffee, it is critical to call your veterinarian or poison control immediately. You will need to report the size of your dog, the suspected quantity consumed, and most importantly, the type of chocolate the dog devoured. Fortunately, if you witness your dog’s consumption of chocolate or coffee, or discover the ingestion soon afterwards, vomiting can be induced to help prevent further absorption and toxicity. 

While xanthine alkaloids have been identified as the problematic substance in chocolate and coffee, the toxic substance in grapes, raisins and currants is unknown. The danger of kidney failure posed by these foods has only come to light in recent years. Not every dog will experience kidney failure after ingesting these foods. Cats and ferrets can also be affected, but the likelihood of these pets consuming grapes and raisins is far less than it is for dogs. Since we don’t know how to identify which dogs will be affected, it is necessary to treat all dogs as if their life is at risk. The quantity that must be consumed in order to cause a problem is also unknown. Therefore, precautions should be taken even if a small amount is consumed. Raisins are found in many common household food products such as cookies, bagels, trail mix and granola bars. The symptoms related to kidney failure secondary to ingestion of grapes, raisins and currants include vomiting, increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, and lethargy. If you witness or discover that your dog has consumed any of these foods, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately. 

Nuts pose a serious threat to people with severe allergies. For dogs, macadamia nuts do not cause an allergic reaction, but result in alarming symptoms including vomiting, elevated body temperature, tremors and weakness in the hindquarters. A small amount of nuts can cause these problems. Fortunately, dogs will usually recover from macadamia nut ingestion within 24-48 hours. If you discover that your dog has consumed macadamia nuts, contact your veterinarian immediately.

 While raw garlic, onions, chives and leeks may not be as tempting as chocolate, these ingredients found in pizza, onion rings, meat based recipes, and onion dip become a tasty treat for dogs and cats. Onions and garlic contain thiosulfate which creates two types of problems for dogs and cats. Consumption leads to stomach and intestinal upset manifesting in vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and decreased appetite. The other issue is the rupture and loss of red blood cells which results in anemia. Signs of anemia include pale gums, lethargy, increased heart and respiratory rates, weakness, and collapse. Pet owners should avoid sharing any foods containing onions, garlic, chives and leeks with their dogs and cats. If your pet accidentally ingests these foods, contact your veterinarian or poison control immediately. 

Another item that is safe for people, but toxic to dogs is xylitol. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is an artificial sweetener that is commonly used in many food and non-food products. It can be found in sugar-free chewing gums, breath mints, baked goods, toothpaste, cough syrup, and vitamins. The most dangerous product containing xylitol is peanut butter as this is a food often deliberately given to dogs as a treat. There are two main problems that dogs develop after ingesting xylitol. First, xylitol causes a significant release of insulin from the pancreas. This leads to a dramatic decrease in the dog’s blood sugar level which poses a threat of seizures and coma. Secondly, xylitol causes liver failure. Check all peanut butter labels before giving it to a dog and be sure to keep chewing gum and any baked goods containing xylitol away from dogs. Call your veterinarian or poison control if you discover your dog has ingested anything containing xylitol. 

In addition to various foods, there are many medications, plants and household items which pose a threat to pets. It is important to avoid pet exposure to the following:


·         Pain relievers such as aspirin, Advil, Tylenol – very toxic to cats
Stimulants used for the treatment of ADHD
Pain patches (Fentynyl, Lidocaine) 

Household products

·         Laundry pods
Toilet bowl cleaner
Any product containing bleach
Drain openers
Pennies minted after 1983 (zinc toxicity) 


·         Sago palm – liver failure, severe GI problems
Lilies (Easter, tiger, Japanese, day lilies) – highly dangerous for causing kidney failure in cats, even a nibble of leaf, pollen can be deadly
Bulb plants (tulip, daffodils, narcissus, amaryllis, hyacinth) – all parts are toxic, but bulb can cause severe gastrointestinal and neurologic signs
Yew – all parts except fleshy berry around seed are toxic, cause fatal cardiac arrhythmia
Peace Lily
Lilly of the valley

If your pet has ingested something you believe to be harmful, contact a veterinarian or one of the following organizations for medical advice:

ASPCA poison control hotline: (888) 426-4435, $65 consultation fee
Pet Poison Hotline 855-764-7661, $49 consultation fee 
The Pet Poison Hotline app is great for researching the toxicity of foods, plants and medications.






Thursday, 13 October 2016 15:25

Traveling With Pets

Written by

Listen as Dr. Mindy Cohan talks with Kathy about traveling with your dog or cat. 

Traveling with Dogs and Cats

Some of my best vacations included traveling with my dog.  Having my dog with me alleviated the typical worries of leaving them with a sitter and I didn’t have to suffer from my own form of separation anxiety.  While taking your dog on vacation can be a wonderful experience, there are many problems that can arise if you do not plan ahead.

The first consideration is whether your dog will enjoy the travel experience.   If you dog is anxious or prone to car sickness, it is best to leave your dog at home.  If you are traveling to a destination where other dogs will be present, be sure your dog gets along well with others.

Dogs prone to motion sickness will not enjoy a family road trip. Signs of motion sickness include drooling, vomiting, lip licking, panting, pacing, restlessness, trembling, and yawning. Fortunately, many young dogs often outgrow motion sickness. The symptoms of motion sickness can be worsened by underlying anxiety. To help minimize a dog’s stress levels, make the car an enjoyable place by providing a favorite blanket or toy. Allow your dog to acclimate by allowing it to spend time in a parked car while eating treats. As your dog develops positive associations with the car, begin to take very short drives, gradually increasing the duration. Consult your dog’s veterinarian regarding medications that can help prevent motion sickness and minimize stress and anxiety.

While most cats are not travel enthusiasts, some cats don’t mind car rides and others may need to travel out of necessity (i.e. owner moving to new home). If you are planning a trip with your feline friend, buy a comfortable and safe pet carrier. A carrier is required for airline travel and it will keep your pet safe in an automobile in case of an accident. Cats that are not accustomed to carriers can become very fearful when confined. Leaving a carrier on the floor with the door open and treats inside can help a cat acclimate before it is needed for travel. Place a comfortable pad or bed inside the carrier and spray it with Feliway, a synthetic pheromone which helps to minimize stress levels in cats.

If you are planning to fly, rather than drive to your destination, arrangements must be made through the airline.   Most airlines require a health certificate from a veterinarian within 10 days of a flight.   Flying can be stressful for pets that are new to the experience.   If you can avoid a flight, driving will probably be more comfortable. Pet owners must thoroughly research the airline rules and regulations well in advance of flying.

If you are not traveling to visit and stay with a family member or friend, choose a pet friendly accommodation and become familiar with the pet policies. Some hotels have weight limitations for visiting dogs. If you plan to travel with your large breed dog, call ahead to make sure it will be welcome. When calling to book your reservation, inquire about added pet fees. Some hotels require that you take your dog with you if venturing out for the day. If you are planning excursions that do not include or allow your dog, be sure it is okay to leave him/her in the hotel room. Hotels which permit your dog to stay unattended sometimes offer dog walking services.

Some preparations for traveling with your pets include:

·        copy of vaccine records
·        ID tags including cell phone and resort numbers
·        adequate supply of regular food, treats, chews, toys
·        food and water bowls
·        cleaning products in case of accidents
·        regular medications
·        flea, tick and heartworm preventatives
·        first aid kit
·        blankets, towels, potty bags, extra leash (dogs)
·        harness, leash (cats)
·        list of veterinary hospitals en route to and near vacation site

Additional recommendations include a safety harness for the car (, and a bowl and water for rest stop refreshment. Always be careful when leaving pets in the car at rest stops. Do not leave them if the car is at risk for becoming hot. Since rest stops are highly trafficked, always keep dogs on leash and be cautious when walking near roads.

Although taking a pet on vacation requires moderate preparation, it is well worth the time and effort to have your pet’s company and to enjoy adventures together. Planning carefully will ensure safe and enjoyable travels for all. Happy trails!

For more information, visit:

Dog friendly cities and lodging

Hiking trails open to dogs

Pet friendly travel and lodging


Wednesday, 17 August 2016 16:14

Feline Soiling / Diabetes

Written by

Listen as Dr. Mindy Cohan talks with Kathy about cats who don't use their litterbox - also diabetes in dogs and cats. 

Feline House Soiling

Elimination outside of the litter box is one of the most frustrating problems faced by cat owners.   It is also unfortunately a major reason for cats being relinquished to a shelter, abandoned, and euthanized.   When choosing bathroom facilities for cats, many factors should be considered.

There are many options when it comes to the litter box itself. Choosing a box that is at least 1½ times the length of the cat is recommended. Although a lid is preferable for some owners to avoid litter scatter, most cats prefer open boxes. For cats that eliminate standing, deep boxes can help prevent urine and feces from landing on the floor. Larger boxes also allow an adequate depth of litter in order for cats to be able to dig and bury their waste products. When it comes to litter boxes, bigger is in fact better! Unscented scoopable litter is typically preferred to scented, non-scoopable varieties.

The location of the litter box is also crucial for kitty satisfaction. Avoid placing boxes in noisy or highly trafficked areas of the house. The box should be easily accessible to the feline residents. For those who must place a box in the basement, it is advised to provide boxes in the other levels of the home. Avoid placing the box near appliances that can make unexpected startling noises (washing machine) and keep boxes far away from food and water bowls. The magic number of litter boxes equals the number of cats plus one. If you have 3 cats, your home should have at least 4 litter boxes.

For homes with geriatric cats, be sure to place the boxes in a convenient and easily accessible location.  Older cats might have trouble jumping into a high edged box.   Some boxes have one shorter side to allow for easy access. Cat owners can create ramps if needed for arthritic pets.  

If your cat is not using the litter box, seek veterinary attention immediately.   Failure to use a litter box can have a medical or behavioral basis.  A veterinarian can help determine whether a medical problem exists.  Symptoms of a medical issue include:

  • ·         Frequent trips to the litter box
  • ·         Straining to urinate
  • ·         Smaller amounts of urine than usual seen in box
  • ·         Blood in urine
  • ·         Excessive licking of hindquarters
  • ·         Decreased appetite/vomiting/vocalizing 

If it is a behavioral issue, your veterinarian can make suggestions to resolve the problem.   The sooner inappropriate elimination problems are addressed, the greater the chances for a timely resolution. Some important tips for encouraging proper litter box usage include:


  • ·         Use scoopable, unscented litter
  • ·         Have one box per cat plus one extra
  • ·         Avoid covered boxes (traps odor)
  • ·         The bigger the better
  • ·         Place boxes in quiet areas of the home
  • ·         Keep box away from food and water bowls 

Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common endocrine (hormonal) problems seen in dogs and cats. It is estimated that one in 230 cats and one in 300 dogs is affected by diabetes. Because diabetic dogs and cats require insulin injections, pet owners are often scared when they learn their pet has diabetes. While giving an injection for the first time can be intimidating, it is important for pet owners to know it is easier than expected and there are a lot of helpful resources available to build your confidence.

Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. The pancreas is an important organ that is located near the stomach and small intestine. Insulin is made by the pancreas and it serves to move glucose (sugar) into the cells of the body. There can be plenty of glucose in the bloodstream, but the cells of the body are starving, because they cannot utilize the available glucose without insulin. The body will begin to break down other sources of energy such as protein and fat. As protein is broken down, a pet can lose muscle mass and weight.

The typical symptoms of diabetes include: 

  • ·         Increased thirst and urination
  • ·         Urinary accidents in the house
  • ·         Increased or decreased appetite (early and late in the disease progress respectively)
  • ·         Weight loss

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog or cat, schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian. Early detection and treatment of diabetes is important. If the disease progresses without treatment, pets can become very ill. Diabetes is diagnosed with blood and urine tests. Because diabetic pets are at greater risk for urinary tract infections, a urinalysis and culture are recommended. 

Once a diagnosis of diabetes is established, the veterinary team will talk to you about diet, feeding, insulin administration and monitoring. Most pets will need to receive insulin injections twice daily. Some cats may go into remission after a diet change and insulin treatment. Monitoring a pet’s blood sugar levels is extremely important to determine if an adjustment is needed in the insulin dose and whether a cat needs to continue with insulin injections. Your veterinary team will discuss signs of a low blood sugar level which can occur when too much insulin is given. If your pet is weak, unsteady on its feet, or collapses, treat the low blood sugar  by rubbing Caro syrup or pancake syrup on your pet’s gums. The sugar will be absorbed quickly and help to prevent a life threatening seizure. 

Diabetes is a chronic disease which is manageable, but cannot be cured with the exception of some cats that go into remission. Learning how to care for your pet and administering insulin injections can feel overwhelming. Be sure that your pet’s veterinary team provides you with adequate instructions and information. 

For more help regarding diabetic dogs and cats, visit:




Thursday, 04 August 2016 16:14

Pet Dehydration / Noise Phobias

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Listen as Dr. Mindy Cohan talks with Kathy about the keeping your pets hydrated, especially when it's hot out - and also how to care for a pet rattled by loud noises, like thunder. 

Heat Related Illness

The Philadelphia area has already experienced several heat waves this summer.  Heat and high humidity pose dangerous risks to both people and pets.   Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke when allowed to exercise on hot and humid days or when accidentally placed in a confined space such as an automobile.  A study found that the temperature within a vehicle may increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within one hour, even on a relatively cool (70 degree) day. 

While all dogs can develop heat related problems when exposed to adverse conditions, some dogs are particularly susceptible.  Unlike people, dogs do not sweat to cool their bodies.   Dogs rely on evaporative cooling from the tongue, by means of panting.   Dogs with flat faces such as Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs, Boxers and Boston Terriers are at a disadvantage when it comes to regulating normal heat balance.   Dogs that are elderly, overweight, have heart disease, or have laryngeal paralysis are also more prone to becoming overheated.

Animals with heat-induced illness can develop the following signs:

• excessive panting and drooling
• red or pale gums
• vomiting
• diarrhea
• weakness and collapse

More severe signs include vomiting blood and difficulty breathing.   All body systems (kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, coagulation factors) can be affected by heat-induced illness.  If not caught and treated immediately, the patient can develop life threatening multisystem failure, sepsis, and deregulation of the blood clotting system. Seizures and coma may develop if heatstroke progresses resulting in cardiac arrest and death. 

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, spray the pet with cool water or immerse in a cool water bath. Do not immerse pet in ice bath! Direct fans towards dog to further help with body cooling. Transport your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital. 

To prevent heatstroke:

• Never leave pets in a hot parked car.
• Provide access to water and shade on warm days.
• Do not allow dogs to heavily exercise on hot and humid days.
• Walk pets early in the morning of after sunset during the summer.
• Never muzzle dogs in hot environments, take caution with dryers used at grooming facilities

It is much better to prevent heatstroke than to treat it!

Noise Phobia

Although July 4th has passed, fireworks can still be randomly heard throughout the summer months and they are guaranteed New Year’s Eve. In addition to fireworks, pets with noise phobias can also be scared by thunderstorms, gun shots, backfires, construction, and motorcycles. While cats can be fearful of loud noises, dogs are more commonly affected.  

A phobia is “an extremely strong dislike or fear of something.” Examples of common phobias that affect people include heights, snakes, rollercoasters. Once fearful of an experience, it is difficult to overcome that fear in the future.  

Thunderstorms are different than other events merely associated with noise. Dogs often become fearful before the storm arrives.  Dogs begin to react when they sense a change in the barometric pressure or when they hear and see rain and wind. Both thunder and lightening associated with storms can dramatically affect dogs. Surprisingly, not all dogs with storm phobias are affected by loud noises and not all dogs afraid of loud noises are sensitive to storms. 

Noise phobias are not only stressful for the afflicted dog or cat, they can be very unsettling for the pet parent. Watching your pet in emotional distress is heart breaking. Pet owners often feel helpless when it comes to comforting an upset dog or cat. Common symptoms of noise phobia include:

• Pacing
• Panting
• Whining/barking/meowing
• Drooling
• Hiding
• Destructive behavior 

If your dog or cat is very fearful of loud noises or storms, consult your pet’s veterinarian. Suggestions can be offered to help minimize your pet’s anxiety. One strategy is avoidance. By avoiding the offensive stimulus, your pet will have nothing to fear. However, since we cannot control the weather, avoid neighbors who light fireworks, or prevent local construction, this is easier said than done.  

As pet owners, we can take measures to minimize our pet’s fear. For example, when fireworks or storms are expected, keep your pets inside and play the television or radio at a loud volume to drown out the offending noise. Allow your pet to hide wherever it feels comfortable. Never scold a pet or try to make it leave a secure hiding location! 

During storms or fireworks, try to engage your dog in a playful game or obedience skill to redirect its focus. Nonprescription medications can be tried. There are pheromone products such as Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats that can be helpful. These products mimic the natural chemicals released by a nursing mother dog or cat and provide a sense of calm for pets. “Rescue Remedy” is a natural product that can also create a calming effect for stressed pets. A “Thunder Shirt” is a snuggly fitting coat that “hugs” the pet and gives a sense of security.  

If non-medication products do not provide enough stress relief, a veterinarian should be consulted to discuss medications for your anxious pet. There are many different medications that can be tried, but not all can resolve noise phobias. Some pets benefit from a multimodal approach. Finding the solution to a pet’s anxiety requires time and patience and often the best plan is discovered by trial and error.



Monday, 06 June 2016 21:06

Dog Bite Prevention

Written by

Listen as Dr. Mindy Cohan talks with Kathy about the preventing dog bites and more - plus how to have a safe Fourth of July with your dog!

Dog Bite Prevention

Every year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. and at least 800,000 people receive medical attention. Most of the victims are children who will sustain both long term physical and psychological effects. Because of the prevalence and grave consequences of dog bites, “National Dog Bite Prevention Week” was established and takes place the third full week of May each year. 

While the majority of dog bites occur to a person’s face, most cat bites are localized to a person’s hands. Because there are so many joints within the hands, this location is not only extremely sensitive to pain, but also at high risk for infection. Cats have particularly sharp teeth and their mouths harbor many serious bacteria. Approximately one third of people bitten by a cat on the hand will require hospitalization and many need surgeries to address the wound and infection. Any person who is bitten by a cat or dog should seek medical attention immediately.

Studies have shown that the behaviors most commonly preceding a bite include bending over a dog and a person putting their face close to a dog’s face. Surprisingly, the study did not find actions typically thought to provoke a dog bite such as stepping on a tail/paw, pulling fur, scolding, or trimming nails to be high risk behaviors. 

The majority of dogs cited for bite incidents include primarily unneutered adult males and dogs of a moderate to large size.  Most bite episodes take place in the dog’s home or yard while the dog is off-leash. It is important to note that parents and dog owners are usually present when a child is bit. It is also important to be aware that small dogs can inflict serious wounds and that any dog, no matter how loving, sweet, or tolerant can bite. Any breed is capable of biting, and children are primarily bitten by dogs that they know. 

While some dogs can bite due to underlying aggressive tendencies, most dogs bite because they are scared and feel insecure. This is not the dog’s fault, but often due to improper socialization. Between the ages of 3-14 weeks, the majority of a puppy’s personality is established. This is considered the prime socialization age and it is critical that a puppy be exposed to other animals, people of different genders, ethnicities, ages, and sizes and be introduced to objects such as umbrellas, bags, and canes. Puppy classes are a great way to optimize socialization and minimize future fears. It is detrimental for an owner to scold or hit a dog that exhibits fear aggression as this will only make the dog more scared. 

Other factors that can provoke a dog to bite are resource guarding, pain, or other underlying medical problems. For example, dogs can feel threatened and defensive if they are approached while eating a meal, chewing on a favorite toy or bone, or resting comfortably in their bed or on furniture. Some dogs will not tolerate being pushed or moved off a sofa or bed. Dogs that are blind or deaf are more easily startled and can bite when caught off guard. Older dogs with arthritis may snap when a sore area is touched. Ear infections or other painful skin conditions can make dogs more irritable and likely to bite. If your dog has never snapped and has a personality change, take it to a veterinarian to be evaluated.

Since dogs cannot speak, it is important to be familiar with the many body language signals they can exhibit to indicate fear or stress. Signs that a dog is nervous and needs to be approached with caution include:

  •         Yawning
  •         Lip licking
  •        Tucked tail
  •         Ears pinned back
  •         Cowering
  •         Showing the whites of the eyes
  •         Intensely staring or avoiding eye contact
  •         Lips pulled back
  •        Growling
  •        Barking
  •        Lifting a paw/shifting weight away
  •        Panting
  •        Drooling

For families that have a furry child that precedes a human child, steps can be taken to reduce the dog’s anxiety when a new baby comes home and to ensure a safe environment for the newborn infant. First, the dog should master basic obedience skills such as “sit,” “down,” “stay,” and “come.” The commands of “leave it” and “drop it” will be important to prevent the dog from picking up baby toys, pacifiers, etc. The dog should be trained to feel calm and comfortable in a crate. The command “go away” is important as many dogs being approached by a crawling infant or walking toddler do not instinctively move away on their own. Commanding the dog to “go away” helps to keep both dog and child out of harm’s way. Families should set boundaries with furniture or the baby’s room well ahead of the baby’s arrival.

Many baby related items and sounds can be scary and stressful to dogs. It is important to desensitize the family pet by leaving items such as strollers, car seats, swings, and toys out for the dog to smell and explore. When the dog approaches and investigates these things, praise it and give the dog a treat. The sound of a baby crying or baby toys can be distressing to a dog not familiar with these new noises. Playing a recording of a baby crying while feeding treats or engaging you dog in a game of fetch can help ease the fear associated with novel sounds. 

For households with children that plan to add a new dog, parents must take measures to teach the kids to be kind and respectful of dogs. The videos from Jimmy’s Dog House provide great lessons for kids to watch with parents. Go to  under the heading “May Brings National Dog Bite Prevention Week!” click on “watch the videos.” I suggest watching all of the video clips which will take less than ten minutes. 

Parents must remain vigilant in supervising infants, toddlers and young children with dogs at all times. Educating children is also critical and lessons must be taught starting at a young age so good habits are established early.

Tips for parents can be found at

From personal experience, there is nothing more wonderful or special than the love and companionship of a dog. As a veterinarian, I have encountered many dogs that are not aggressive, but become terrified upon entering a veterinary office. The veterinary team has to be extra careful handling these patients that are prone to biting out of fear. Understanding and respecting a fearful animal is critical for ensuring the safety of people and pets. Adequate training and socialization of dogs, vigilance of parents and dog owners, and well educated children will help to reduce the number of dog bite incidents and minimize the devastating repercussions for both humans and canines. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016 14:24

Pet Sounds with Dr. Mindy

Click Below to Read & Listen to Dr. Mindy's Monthly Visits

Meet Mindy!

Mindy Cohan, VMD received her B.A. from Penn State and her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon her veterinary school graduation, Mindy completed a one year internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Mindy was a proud member of the Kids Corner team from 1995 – 2006 and is thrilled to return. Always passionate to share pet health information, Mindy has also been a guest veterinarian on WHYY radio and on the local NBC television show, “10!” She has been a contributing author for Veterinary Technician magazine.

Recognizing the importance of the human-animal bond and the depth of attachment she and her clients felt towards pets, Mindy developed a strong interest in bereavement counseling. Mindy lives with her wife, Lauren and Jem, a dog they rescued in 2009. Mindy enjoys volunteering at Valley Forge National Historic Park, hiking with Jem, attending the theatre, and is passionate about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

Pet Sounds on Kids Corner is made possible with support from Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.

For over 90 years, Elmwood Park Zoo has served as a destination for families looking to connect to the natural world. Its mission is to promote wildlife conservation and to inspire others to help preserve the planet’s biodiversity.

Elmwood Park Zoo's Animal Fun Fact! The gender of alligator hatchlings depends a great deal on the temperature the eggs are in. Males will hatch in warmer temps, and females in cooler temps!.


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