“Dedicated to providing gentle, compassionate care for companion animals”

The German Shepherd is distinguished for loyalty, courage, and the ability to assimilate and retain training for a number of special services; he is not pugnacious, as his reputation posits him to be, but a bold and punishing fighter if need be.  Here are some other facts about the German Shepherd:

  • The German Shepherd has become one of the most popular and recognizable breeds of the AKC.
  • They are often utilized as police dogs, service dogs, agility dogs, conformation animals, obedience dogs and sentinels.
  • Their high trainability and extreme loyalty and commitment make them an excellent choice for any agenda.
  • The breed has been in the public eye and media many times, recognizable as “Rin Tin Tin” and other canine characters.
  • They are known to not give affection lightly and is known for his dignity and stature; also known as a “one-man” breed for its tendency to display serious loyalty and fidelity, especially to its owner or main caretaker.
  • Bred from old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the German Shepherd has been subject to intensive development since the late 1800s.
  • They are very loyal family pets and good guard dogs, the ideal choice for many families. They require regular exercise; and training is one of the most important responsibilities an owner of a German Shepherd can have.
Continue reading
Animal Wellness Center has joined the Fear Free Veterinary Practice movement. We have been making changes in the way we interact with our patients to create an experience that not only will dispel their fear but will make them happy to come to the hospital. How can that be possible? We are evaluating every step in your pet’s visit to see the experience from their point of view.

Once we examine every facet of how we provide care to our patients in the light of what they are thinking and feeling we can change the way we provide the care they need. The changes start with helping owners uncover the events that happen before leaving the house and on the car ride to their appointment.

We know that  many pets start to experience apprehension and anxiety before they ever reach the hospital.  We would love to have the opportunity to help every pet owner find ways to make the trip calm or even fun. You can imagine that the answer will vary for each individual.  Many pets hate the car because they feel nauseous from the ride. Think about how miserable you would feel if you knew you were going to have to go for a ride in the “puke-mobile” only to find yourself in a place full of strangers who handle you roughly, prick you with needles and then have to get back in the car. Only a small number of these pets will actually vomit most just appear anxious, swallow frequently, pant or smack their lips. None the less, feeling nausea is miserable.

That is just one example. Other pets may need to be counter conditioned to car rides or a mild medication to help them relax. Sometimes changing their seat in the car or covering their carrier can be helpful. The point is we can help significantly reduce or prevent their stress…and yours. Just ask!

Okay, now you and your pet have arrived in a relaxed state. What happens for your pet in the reception area? Are they afraid around strange people and animals? We can put them in a quiet room instead. Are they okay until they have to step on the scale or until the technician lifts them on the exam table? We can take their weight as they are leaving the hospital. We can examine them seated on your lap or on the floor. Doctors can take off white coats, staff can apply calming pheromones to their clothing before entering the room. We can slow down and give you pet a little more time to relax. We can become treat dispensing machines. Wow, wouldn’t it change your perception of someone if every time they walked in the room they gave you a cupcake?

I will talk about these and other strategies for creating positive visits for your pet in future blogs. It’s about time humans became a pet's best friend.

Continue reading

Tangerine House of Design and Animal Wellness Center of Maple Grove are teaming up to raise money for Helping Hands, Helping Paws--a charitable foundation whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to AWC clients whose pets have an urgent medical need and who otherwise could not afford their care. Your tax deductible donation will help save lives and keep pets with their loving families.

For this Holiday Photo Shoot, you may choose from the following options:


Option 1



Option 2


Option 3




Option 4


Option 5


Option 6



Check out our packages here!


Continue reading

Helping Hands Helping Paws is a charitable foundation whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to AWC clients whose pets have an urgent medical need and who otherwise could not afford their care. Your tax deductible donation will help save lives and keep pets with their loving families.

Photos will be taken here at the clinic Friday 11/6 10:00-6:00 and Sat 11/7 9:00 – 2:00.  Pre-paid reservations required.  Appointments scheduled every 20 minutes.  One image to print selected by the photographer.  Photos are delivered to AWC for pickup by client.

Package options are:

Package A

(2) 5x7

(2) 4x6

Price = $75.00

Package B

25 holiday cards

(2) 5x7

(2) 4x6

Price = $135.00

Package C

25 holiday cards

(2) 5x7

(1) 8x10

Price = $145.00

Add-on additional photos to a package:

(25) Holiday Cards = $75 

16x20 = $60 

11x14 = $50 

8x10 = $35 

5x7 = $25 

4x6 = $25 

(8) Wallets = $30 

Continue reading

Buddy is running around and having a great time at the dog park when he turns wrong and starts limping on his back leg.  Of course it is a Saturday afternoon and your veterinarian isn’t open until Monday morning.  Buddy seems really uncomfortable so you decide to give him just a half dose of a normal adult aspirin to help him be more comfortable until the morning (of course you know not to give other human anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen).  Monday afternoon when Buddy is in to see your veterinarian you let her know that you gave Buddy aspirin since he injured himself Saturday afternoon.  You are surprised to hear your veterinarian say that may been a bad idea.  The following is why she may feel that way.

What dose was given?

The most common aspirin sizes are 81mg and 325mg.  A single dose is usually not an overdose, but if Buddy is a 10 pound dog and got ½ of a 325mg tablet, that is an overdose.  Even at a normal dose, aspirin has been shown to cause microscopic gastric bleeding in dogs and a single dose can significantly impair platelet function, causing the blood to clot less effectively

Is Buddy on any other medications?

Even though aspirin is an over-the-counter medication it still has interactions with many other drugs.  The most notable ones are steroids, other anti-inflammatory drugs, heart medications and diuretics, anti-seizure medications, and certain antibiotics.  Side effects from drug interactions can range from prolonged duration of certain medications, to something as severe as gastrointestinal ulceration/perforation, liver failure, or kidney failure.

Does Buddy have any concurrent health issues?

If there is underlying kidney or liver disease, aspirin can be very harmful and may worsen the disease.  If there are blood or clotting disorders, aspirin can cause spontaneous bleeding from internal organs.

How does this affect what medications I can give Buddy today?

This is probably the most common concern that veterinarians have when their patient has taken aspirin.  It takes about 3-7 days for aspirin to completely wash out of the system.  This limits our choices for treatment of Buddy’s problem.  For example if Buddy is limping because of arthritis or a cruciate ligament tear, a safer anti-inflammatory medication cannot be started for a few days without risking significant side effects. If he ends up having a slipped or bulging disk in his back, steroids cannot be started right away for the same reasons.

Aspirin is not inherently a bad drug and has many beneficial uses.  Many of our patients are on aspirin for various conditions.  That being said, it should always be under the supervision of a veterinarian to make sure an appropriate dose is given, drug interactions are accounted for, and the side effects are monitored.  Aspirin, like most drugs, should only be given on the advice of your veterinarian.  When faced with the question of whether or not to give aspirin wait and call your veterinarian.  We are here to help!


Image credit:  epantha | iStock

Continue reading