Newsletter The veterinarians and staff at the Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

March 23 is National Puppy Day

March 23 is National Puppy Day! Since 2006, National Puppy Day celebrates the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. Over the years, this holiday has grown into an international holiday, and has trended on Twitter since 2012.

Creator Colleen Page—who also founded National Dog Day and National Cat Day—created this event to help save orphaned puppies across the globe while educating the public about the horrors of puppy mills. According to the National Puppy Day website, there are approximately 8,000-10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. , including many businesses that call themselves breeders that purposely allow their dog to get pregnant in hopes of selling puppies through local papers or online.

“The tragedy of puppy mills is that they don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold,” National Puppy Day’s website reads. “Most of these animals live in crammed cages with no room to movie, in complete and utter squalor.”

While National Puppy Day is a great day to post pictures of your adorable puppy to your Twitter feed, don’t forget why we celebrate this holiday: for the fair and ethical treatment of dogs across the world. To learn more about National Puppy Day and why adopting a puppy is important, visit

The Best Tips on Crate Training Your Puppy

Just like a new parent needs a crib for a new baby, a new dog owner should provide a crate for his or her new pup. Crates are a place your puppy can call his own - a place they can go and retreat when they want or need space. Crates are an indispensable aid in house training and dealing with misbehavior, and provides a safe place for your dog when you're away. It's also a convenient method of carrying your pet when you travel.

Choosing a Crate

Both solid plastic airline and wire mesh crates are available. If you travel extensively, the foldable wire mesh crates are preferable. When purchasing a crate, make sure there is enough room for your dog to stand up and move around.

Introducing the Crate

If you introduce the crate when your dog is young, he should readily adjust to it. Puppies love people, so put the crate in an area where you and your family spend time. The kitchen, den or family room are generally the best places. Crates need to be perceived as a fun place where your pup wants to be. If the crate is placed in an isolated area, your puppy may cry and bark.

A rule of thumb for how many hours your pup can be confined is the number of months they are old plus one; i.e., a three-month-old pup should not be crated more than four hours. Each dog has its own individual preferences and differences. Most puppies can hold their needs by four months of age if they’re on a feeding and watering schedule.

Initially try and introduce the crate early in the day on a weekend and keep the door open. This allows him to investigate the area. Throw some treats in the crate, play fetch the ball in the crate, store his toys in there and let him go in and out at his own leisure. Feed him in the crate, leaving the door open. If he initially hesitates - put the bowl near the crate door so he can reach in and get to it.

Closing the Door

It is important to schedule crating after your pup has had a good amount of exercise and has eliminated. Put your puppy in there when he is tired and give him a treat and a toy, then praise him and shut the door. Provide him with a toy or bone that he can chew. (If necessary, this bone or toy can amuse him for several hours.) As soon as this is done, leave the room for a few minutes. He may complain, but give him a few minutes. Never reward his cries by letting him out (he will learn to continue crying if you do so). Once his crying has stopped, let him out.

Do not put papers in the cage. This may encourage him to go to the bathroom there. If your pup messes on blankets in the crate, do not put any inside the crate.

The Noisy Pup

Some puppies will cry continuously for 15 minutes or more. If crying continues, a light correction may be needed. You can try to sneak up on the pup (without him seeing you) and tap the wall. This sudden noise may quiet him. You may need to repeat this several times. Another recommendation is to try a squirt from a water gun or shake a soda can full of coins. Just remember not to speak. You don't want the puppy to associate the punishment with you. If all else fails, anti-barking devises such as a citronella spray collar may be needed. This is quite effective and a humane method to control barking.

Preventing Dog and Cat Bites

Bites from dogs and cats are a serious public health problem. Approximately 3 million people are bitten each year, and an average of 14 people die each year from dog attacks. Dog bites are responsible for more liability homeowner insurance claims than any other cause. Children are at the greatest risk for dog bites resulting in serious or fatal injuries.

Dogs and cats are carnivores (meat-eaters) and bite by instinct when hunting, when defending themselves and during social conflicts. They may even use their teeth in play — It is natural for dogs and cats to bite. To avoid dog/cat bites, dogs and cats have to be taught not to bite. Cats are more difficult to train, but their bites and scratches can also be prevented.

Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites

The first step in avoiding dog bites is to take care in selecting a dog. Guarding and fighting breeds of dogs should not be selected for family pets. If an adult dog is being obtained, special attention should be paid to its temperament and how will socialized it has been with people of all ages and with other animals. If a puppy is being selected, the temperament of its parents and of puppies from previous litters should be evaluated. Ask the owner to see the puppy's parents and for names and phone numbers of others who got puppies from these parents. Puppies need to be properly socialized, especially between 4 and 16 weeks of age in order to prevent excessive fear and aggression toward strangers when they are adults.

Puppies naturally use their teeth when playing, however they must be discouraged from using their teeth on people even during play. Their chewing and "mouthing" should be corrected with a sharp "NO" then the chewing should be redirected to an appropriate chew toy.

Puppies and dogs should not be allowed to use their teeth when taking treats out of hands. To discourage this, offer the treat inside a closed fist. Only allow the dog to take the treat after they have gently nudged with their muzzle. Do not hold the treat above the dog's head which would encourage them to jump up and grab the treat out of the hand. Never allow anyone to tease a puppy, dog, kitten or cat. Teasing even during play will unintentionally frustrate the dog or cat and may lead to biting.

Tips for Avoiding Dog & Cat Bites

Never approach, touch or try to pick up an unfamiliar dog or cat without the owner's permission. Especially avoid a dog that is on a chain or tied up.

Never tease or make menacing gestures toward a dog or cat.

Keep your movements and actions low-key and your voice firm but subdued.

Never enter a fenced yard with a dog if the owner is not there and, even then, not without the owner's permission. If a dog approaches or runs toward you, stand still. You cannot out run a dog. Running away will encourage the dog to chase you.

If a dog approaches you, do not stare or make direct eye contact with it. Instead, watch its movements out of the corner of your eye.

Do not turn your back on the dog. You may try to slowly back away. If this movement makes the dog more assertive or aggressive, move toward you in a more aggressive way or growl/snarl, then you must stand still and very slowly move your hands and arms to protect your chest and neck. You may only back away once the dog has left.

If a dog knocks you down, do not move. Lie on your stomach and cover the back of your neck with your hands.

If you are bitten, first contact your physician or obtain emergency medical assistance. Children should contact their parents or another adult. As soon as possible, report the bite to Animal Control officers, provide them with a detailed description of the dog and the specific location where the dog or cat was last seen.

The Pros and Cons of Letting Your Dog Sleep on Your Bed

Having a dog is like having a best friend that always is in the mood to hang out and never gets tired of your jokes. Pretty great, right? So it's no surprise that your dog also wants to sleep in your bed where they can continue being the best friend they can be. The sentiment is sweet, but it's also a pattern that— once established—can be hard to be break.

For new dog owners, consider some of these pros and cons to letting your four-legged friend share your treasured mattress space.

Pro: They Keep You Comfortable Throughout the Night

Having a warm body nearby on your bed is comforting for many reasons. Their rhythmic breathing can help put you to sleep, and their bodies can keep the bed a little warmer on winter nights.

Con: A Restless Dog Can Affect the Quality of Your Sleep

As mentioned above, a warm body in bed can be very comfortable. But when that warm body is staying up half the night to scratch, snore, whimper or whine, it can interfere with your own sleep. This doesn't mean that each and every night will be restless; rather, you should prepare for the occasional night when your dog is having trouble counting sheep.

Pro: Snuggling With Your Dog Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Sometimes, going to bed means revisiting the day’s stressful events, making the idea of ever falling asleep impossible. With a dog by your side, that's never the case. Snuggling up with your dog can be a helpful distraction on restless nights, and their affection is calming and heart-warming.

Con: Dog's Aren't Always Clean

Sure dogs are great companions, but they don't regularly bathe as often as humans, and that means it's impossible to know what they're tracking into the bed. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, think about the amount of dirt and germs they might be sharing with you. Plus there's parasites to consider. If you've decided that your pet has to sleep on your bed, remember to wash the sheets and blankets often.

Pro: Your Dog's Presence makes You Feel Safe

One of the upsides to owning a dog is the protection they provide. They make your house their house, and are not afraid to bark at intruders and let you know when things are not quite right. Even the littlest dogs can make a lot of noise, helping us feel safe. Knowing that your dog is looking out for your well-being should be enough to sleep just that much easier through the night.

Pet Identification - It's A Must!

Some form of identification is necessary for your pet. Of the millions of dogs and cats euthanized each year, many are lost pets whose owners cannot be found. Animal shelters or rescue organizations cannot hold pets for an extended period of time. If an owner is not found, the animal gets adopted out (luckily) or eventually euthanized.

Pet identification is a must!

Pet identification is a must!

There are several forms of pet identification - collar tags, tattoos and, more recently, implanted microchips. All are excellent forms of identification; however, which is the best?

The best form of pet identification is a combination of collar-tag and either tattoo or microchip. Even though tattoos and microchips are permanent forms of identification, they are not readily noticeable by the average person. If a lost pet has a collar with a name tag (bearing the owner's name, address and phone number), he or she can easily be returned to the owner.

Collars and Tags

Sturdy dog collar

Sturdy Dog Collar

These are a necessity. Collars (with information tags) are a quick way of identifying the animal's owner. Along with the owner's information, the ID tag should have the name, address and phone number of the pet's veterinarian. Attached to the collar, the ID tag should also be accompanied by the dog's license/rabies tag.


Tattoos have been used to identify dogs and cats for many years. The tattoo consists of numbers and letters usually found on the groin or upper rear leg. The number is registered with the National Dog Registry, or if the dog is a pure bred, with the American Kennel Club.

The chief problem with a tattoo is that it does not provide immediate identification when the dog is found. Most people do not look for a tattoo, and if they do see one, they do not know what to do. Another problem with tattoos is that many become illegible as the animal ages.

Microchip Identification

Microchips are rapidly becoming a very popular method for identifying pets. Once the microchip is inserted, the pet is identified for life. Microchips are safe, unalterable and permanent identification for pets.

The microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of a cat or dog, in much the same way that a vaccine is administered. The microchip is coded with a unique 10-digit code. Each microchip that is inserted contains a unique code, specific to the individual pet.

When a pet is found, a scanner is passed over its body. If a microchip is present, the scanner registers the unique 10-digit code. This 10-digit code is maintained in a database with information regarding the pet.

Veterinarian scanning for a microchip.

Vet scanning for a microchip.

Your pet needs to have identification 24 hours a day. For immediate identification, there is absolutely no substitute for a collar with appropriate tags. Along with the collar and tags, a permanent form of identification is highly recommended. It appears as though the microchip is gradually replacing the tattoo as the preferred method for permanent pet identification.