UGA Veterinary School offers puppy training/adoption counseling/wellness screening for senior pets

Athens, Ga. – Millions of animals are abandoned each year, mainly due to behavioral issues.The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is helping owners of new pets head off potential behavioral issues by offering training classes, for puppies, taught by veterinary behaviorists.

Pet owners who recently acquired a puppy between 8 and 16 weeks of age may enroll the puppy in classes which will be held Tuesdays at 7 p.m., beginning Nov. 9, at the college’s Community Practice Clinic, located off East Campus Road and directly behind the college on 501 D.W. Brooks Drive.Classes will be held Nov. 9, 16, 30 and Dec. 7.

The training, targeted at the peak socialization age for puppies, is designed to teach new dog owners how to train a puppy to: sit, stay, come when called, not be afraid or aggressive at the veterinarian’s office, learn proper canine etiquette and proper house training.The sessions also will help prevent common behavior problems, such as separation anxiety, storm phobia and fear aggression.

The cost of the course is $100 and includes four classes and a 20-minute introductory session. Specific vaccines are required for puppies participating in the group sessions.

The college’s behavior service, which does not require a referral from a veterinarian, also offers counseling sessions for individuals who are considering adding a dog or cat to their household.The guidance is aimed at helping potential owners choose a pet that will be a good fit for themselves, their family and their lifestyle.For owners of older cats and dogs, the Community Practice Clinic now offers senior wellness screenings, which consist of a package of tests specifically aimed at detecting diseases earlier when they are more likely to be treatable.The senior wellness screenings are for cats ages 10 and older, large-breed dogs ages 8 and older, or smaller dogs ages 10 and older.The screening packages are priced at a 20-percent discount over the individual cost of the procedures.

“Even normal results offer a benefit to the owner and the animal, because the results establish a baseline for the pet,” explained Dr. Ira Roth, director of the Community Practice Clinic.”A seemingly ‘healthy’ older animal may have kidney disease, liver disease, hypertension or other medical issues that would be hard to diagnosis during a routine physical examination when the animal comes to the clinic for something such as a vaccine appointment.. “Identifying diseases early is especially important, because pets, like their owners, are typically living longer lives,” said Roth.

For more information about the puppy training, pet adoption counseling, or senior wellness screenings, contact the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine Community Practice Clinic at 706/542-1984.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, conducting research related to animal diseases and providing veterinary services for animals and their owners.Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share.The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 550 who apply.For more information, see www.vet.uga.edu.The current UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, built in 1979, serves more than 18,000 patients per year in one of the smallest teaching hospitals in the United States.The college currently is working to raise $15 million toward building a new Veterinary Medical Learning Center, which will include a new teaching hospital as well as classrooms and laboratories that will allow for the education of more veterinarians.The goal is to increase enrollment to 150 when the Veterinary Medical Learning Center is built.For more information, see http://www.vet.uga.edu/giving/campaign.php.