Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Jun 14, 2024

The Benefits of Pets at Work

Posted by Bob under Pets

Next week is Take Your Pet to Work Week! And as most of you know, VetStem is no stranger to having our furry, four-legged companions in the office. But beyond the sheer cuteness overload, there are additional benefits to bringing your pet to work that you might not have considered.

First off, let’s talk about stress relief. We all know work can get a bit overwhelming at times, but having your pet by your side can work wonders for keeping those stress levels in check. Just a quick scratch behind the ears or a cuddle session during a coffee break can help to boost your mood. Plus, having a furry coworker can instantly lift spirits and provide some fun during the workday.

Bringing your pet to work isn’t just good for your mental health, it can also boost productivity and improve office morale. One study found that 90 percent of employees in pet friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company’s mission, fully engaged with their work, and willing to recommend their employer to others. Additionally, more than three times as many employees at pet friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and co-workers and are more likely to stay with a company long term. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to work in an office where adorable animals roam the halls?

Check out some interesting studies about pets in the workplace here. And be sure to grab the leash, pack some treats, and get ready to celebrate Take Your Pet to Work Week! Your furry friend will thank you, and your coworkers will too.

Jun 23, 2023

Take Your Dog to Work Day at VetStem

Posted by Bob under Pets, VetStem

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day and VetStem is no stranger to having our furry, four-legged companions in the office! On any given day, there may be a handful of dogs lounging around the office, offering tail wags, and eagerly requesting ear scratches from passers-by. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We of course love the extra puppy snuggles, but there are additional benefits to bringing your dog to work. According to one study, there is a potential correlation between bringing your dog to work and a reduction in stress levels. Scientists found that people who took their dogs to work reported lower stress throughout the day than employees without pets or those who had pets but didn’t take them to work.

Another study found that 90 percent of employees in pet friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company’s mission, fully engaged with their work, and willing to recommend their employer to others. Additionally, more than three times as many employees at pet friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and co-workers and are more likely to stay with a company long term. And the benefits don’t end there! Check out more details of the study here.

We feel super fortunate to work in a pet friendly office, especially since we are in the veterinary field and are all passionate animal lovers! Here are just a few pictures of our dogs hanging around the VetStem office.

Jun 9, 2023

VetStem Pet Appreciation Week!

Posted by Bob under Pets, VetStem

As Pet Appreciation Week wraps up, we just wanted to share appreciation for some of the VetStem pack! These critters bring us so much joy and so many laughs!

Thank you Mick for being a great hiking/camping buddy!

Thank you Scarf for the constant laughs.

Thank you Willow for being so loyal.

Thank you Streaker for the best cuddles.

Thank you Darby for providing constant entertainment!

Thank you Ali’i for the best snuggles.

Thank you Wesley for constantly making us laugh.

Thank you Udon for being a yes noodle instead of a nope rope!

Aug 26, 2022

Meet the VetStem Pack on National Dog Day

Posted by Bob under Dog Ownership, Pets

Today is one of our favorite days of the year: National Dog Day! For those of you who follow our social media, you’re probably familiar with some of the VetStem pack members. For the rest of you, meet our pack!

If you don’t already know, Mick is the unofficial VetStem mascot. He belongs to VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman. He even has an entire #MickMonday social media campaign dedicated to him! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to check it out.

Our followers are also probably familiar with the craziest Frenchie in the land, Darby! She belongs to Veronika, our Customer Service Manager. She is full of personality and of course lots of Frenchie snorts! Her silly antics keep us entertained all day long!

Another familiar face, this bear of a dog is Elphie (short for Elphaba). She’s a cute and fuzzy ball of fur! Just ask her mom, our Director of Commercial Operations, Kristi. Oh wait, never mind, she’s busy vacuuming.

Next up is this mischievous foursome! From left to right, we have Duncan, Flynn, Brogan, and Luca, otherwise known as the Herd of Herders. I asked Whitney, our Customer Service Rep, what it’s like owning four herding dogs. To sum up her reply, she said, “What, like it’s hard?”

These sweet girls are Moosh and Quita. Owned by our Chief Development Officer, Anne, they are the best of friends and the yin to each other’s yang.

Some of you may remember Stormy’s puppy pictures from when she first visited our office. Well, she’s 5 months now and as you can see, she’s grown a lot! IT Manager Willy said she’s very intelligent and has learned basic commands quickly. She loves to play hide and seek and to go swimming at the beach.

This chocolate girl is Willow. She belongs to our Marketing Assistant, Ashley. At 11 years old she has almost as much spunk as she did when she was 2! Her favorite things in life are food, squeaky toys, and following her humans around the house.

And lastly, we have these two goofballs. Mira (brindle) is the mom to Huggy (cream). According to our Sales Rep, Roberta, they are the clowns of the house. “Like mother, like son.”

May 6, 2022

Responsible Pet Ownership: Celebrating National Pet Week

Posted by Bob under Cat Ownership, Dog Ownership, Pets

This week is National Pet Week. While it technically ends tomorrow, it’s not too late to celebrate your furry companions! National Pet Week was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA. It is celebrated each year during the first full week of May to encourage responsible pet care and to celebrate the bond between pets and their people.

National Pet Week Themes

Smiling woman and her cat at the veterinary clinic, a doctor is examining the pet

Each day of National Pet Week has a specific theme that relates to responsible pet ownership:

  • Sunday: Choose well: Commit for life
  • Monday: Socialize now: New doesn’t have to be scary
  • Tuesday: Nutrition and exercise matter
  • Wednesday: Love your pet? See your vet!
  • Thursday: Travel with care
  • Friday: Emergencies happen: Be prepared
  • Saturday: Plan for their care: Give them a lifetime of love

You can read about each theme and find pet owner resources here.

The Cost of Pet Ownership

While responsible pet care has many facets, one important factor to consider is the financial aspect of owning pets. Recently, it has come to light that many pet owners underestimate the cost of pet ownership. In a survey of 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians, nearly half of the pet owner respondents admitted they had underestimated the lifetime cost of their pet(s). Additionally, approximately half of the pet owners thought they were financially prepared for unexpected pet expenses and realized they were not.

Routine Veterinary Care

Another factor of responsible pet ownership is routine preventative veterinary care. On this blog, we frequently talk about diseases and ailments which may prompt visits to the vet. But routine care is very important to maintaining your pet’s health. Preventative care, such as regular wellness exams and routine tests, can lead to the detection and diagnosis of problems that may otherwise go unnoticed until it is too late. If a problem is detected in its early stages, it is more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty, and better success.

Feb 18, 2022

Preventive Care for Your Pet on National Love Your Pet Day

Posted by Bob under Pets, Veterinary Medicine

National Love Your Pet Day is this weekend and what better way to show your pets that you love them than getting them a wellness exam with your family veterinarian? I’m sure that’s exactly how you and your pet want to celebrate, right? All kidding aside, I know that vet visits aren’t a walk in the park for some pets, but scheduling yearly or better yet, twice yearly, wellness exams for your furry (or scaly, or feathered, or shelled) family members is one of the most loving things you can do for them.

Like the adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yearly or twice-yearly veterinary examinations and routine diagnostic testing enables your pet’s doctor to detect problems early on so hopefully they don’t become chronic illnesses later. Like your family physician, your veterinarian underwent years of training to detect subtle changes in your pet that you may not recognize, and then make recommendations for treatment or further investigation. Additionally, the wellness appointment gives you the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with your veterinarian about multiple topics or points of concern, while an illness or injury appointment is usually focused around one particular problem.

Preventive health care visits for your pet should include a complete medical history, physical exam, recommendations for appropriate flea/tick/internal parasite control and vaccinations that are tailored to your pets’ needs. Dental care, nutrition, weight control, exercise/mobility, pain assessment, reproductive health (i.e. spay/neuter or breeding status), pet identification (i.e. microchip), and pet health insurance should also be topics that are covered during the visit.

And although you may think that once or twice-yearly wellness exams are a bit too frequent, consider this: cats and dogs age at a rate that is MUCH faster than you do so a yearly exam for them is equal to an exam every several years for you. The exact rate of pet aging depends on several factors including their species, size/breed, their environment, and their access to preventive care. Click here for the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) article on how to approximate your dog’s age in human years. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also has some great information found here on defining at what age cats and dogs are considered “senior” and how to keep them healthy and happy as they get older.

So, make that appointment and show them you love them with the gift of health. Ok, and maybe a special treat too!

Feb 4, 2022

Understanding the Cost of Pet Ownership

Posted by Bob under Cat Ownership, Dog Ownership, Pets

Pet ownership is very rewarding for most pet owners. The companionship and unconditional love that we receive from our pets has been shown to improve our moods and reduce loneliness. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a cost. One that, according to a recent survey conducted by financial services company, Synchrony, is often underestimated.

The Cost of Pet Ownership

It should come as no surprise that pet ownership is not free. In order to properly care for our pets, we must provide them with food, shelter, enrichment, and veterinary care. According to research conducted by Synchrony, a financial services company that owns CareCredit and Pets Best Pet Insurance, the estimated lifetime cost of a dog ranges from $20,000 to $55,000 while the estimated lifetime cost of a cat ranges from $15,000 to $45,000. In just the first year, a dog can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $2,800, while first-year cat care is approximately $960 to $2,500.

Many Owners Underestimate the Cost of Pet Ownership

Synchrony conducted a survey of 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians to determine if pet owners understand the cost of pet ownership. Unfortunately, nearly half of the pet owner respondents admitted they had underestimated the lifetime cost of their pet(s). Additionally, approximately half of the pet owners thought they were financially prepared for unexpected pet expenses and realized they were not. Click here to view the report.

Veterinarians often witness this firsthand. While many pet parents are prepared for routine costs such as yearly exams and vaccinations, it is the unexpected veterinary expenses that often take pet owners by surprise. These include unpredictable illnesses and injuries that require prompt and sometimes extensive or ongoing care. This is when a pet savings account or pet insurance can come in handy.

Pet Insurance Covers VetStem Cell Therapy

Speaking of pet insurance, did you know that VetStem Cell Therapy is covered by most of the major pet insurance companies? Several of our pet owner clients have received reduced costs for stem cell therapy and also stem cell banking. Keep in mind however that It’s important to check with your insurance company regarding restrictions when it comes to covering stem cell therapy or any other veterinary services.

Jan 28, 2022

VetStem CEO Featured on Local Podcast

Posted by Bob under Pets, VetStem

Recently, our very own Dr. Bob Harman was featured on a local podcast. In it, Dr. Harman discusses how VetStem Cell Therapy works and what our overall mission is. He briefly discusses our human stem cell company, Personalized Stem Cells, and the recently concluded clinical trial for knee osteoarthritis. He also talks a bit about the pet community and how education about lesser-known veterinary procedures, such as stem cell therapy, is so important. Click here to listen to the podcast. We think you’ll enjoy it!

Jan 21, 2022

How Obesity Affects Osteoarthritis in Pets

This week is Healthy Weight Week. And while this is technically a human “holiday,” it can certainly be applied to pets as well! It should come as no surprise that keeping our pets at a healthy weight comes with multiple health benefits. One of these benefits is the potential to reduce the symptoms or delay the onset of osteoarthritis. A healthy weight may lead to healthier joints!

A Rise in Obesity Rates

Just like people, pets have seen a significant increase in obesity rates in the past 10 years. According to a report conducted by Banfield, 1 out of 3 cats and dogs in the United States is overweight. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise in pet obesity rates. These include lack of exercise, genetics, misconceptions about what is considered overweight, specific diseases, as well as overfeeding.

Obesity and Osteoarthritis

As you probably know, obesity increases the risk of developing or exacerbating several serious diseases. One of these diseases is osteoarthritis (OA). Unfortunately, the number of pets with OA is increasing right along with the obesity rates. Joint discomfort from OA can lead to a reduction in activity levels, which can then lead to weight gain and more stress on the joints. It’s a vicious cycle!

Help your Pet Lose Weight to Reduce the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis  

The good news is weight loss may contribute to a reduction in osteoarthritis symptoms. There are several ways you can help your pet lose weight. One method is physical activity. As we discussed in a previous blog, regular exercise comes with a number of benefits including weight loss. A simple exercise like walking can also strengthen muscles and support joint health by improving joint fluid circulation. Your veterinarian is a key resource to help get your pet to a healthy weight.

As always, if your pet has osteoarthritis and you’re curious about treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Dec 10, 2021

Dietary Supplements for Pets and How to Choose Them Wisely

Posted by Bob under Pets, Veterinary Medicine

We have a special guest blog this week from VetStem veterinarian, Dr. Amber Vibert. Dr. Vibert discusses dietary supplements for animals and how you can educate yourself to pick the best supplements for your pets. Check it out below.

In 2020, the global value of the human dietary supplement industry was estimated at $170.4 billion with the US market making up $46 billion of that value. Pet markets often follow closely behind the trends of human markets, so it’s no surprise that US pet owners spent $800 million on pet supplements in 2020 (a 21% increase in sales from 2019). It’s a booming industry but it can also be very confusing for pet parents when it comes to not only understanding what dietary supplements are (and what they are not) but also choosing ones that are safe and effective. We are bombarded every day with the marketing of pet products, and unfortunately, when it comes to supplements, good marketing tactics often win over good science.

First, dietary supplements are just that, supplemental. Meaning, that as long as your pet is eating a nutritionally balanced diet, and is overall healthy, there is no need to supplement their diet with vitamins, minerals, herbs, or system-supportive products (e.g., joint support, skin support). Not only is there not a need to supplement but doing so can actually be harmful. However, if your pet has a medical condition, supplements may be beneficial.

Being that dietary supplements, sometimes referred to as “nutraceuticals”, are not considered to be food, food additives, or drugs, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meaning there is no review of product safety, efficacy, or quality control (i.e., making sure each and every pill in every single bottle contains what the label says it contains). One might think that just requiring FDA approval for supplements would un-muddy the waters and make the world a safer place. However, the process for each new drug application can take years for approval and costs thousands to millions of dollars for the manufacturers which can increase the cost to the consumer. The FDA only gets involved if there is proof that a dietary supplement is unsafe. And I’m just talking about human supplements- pet-specific supplements receive even less governance. So, educating yourself is the best way to find safe and effective products.

The best way to educate yourself about pet supplements is to start with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian has the education and training to help you decide if your pet would benefit from a supplement and which supplements are backed by proven safety and efficacy studies. There is surprisingly little proven data out there for humans or animals regarding the effectiveness of most nutraceuticals. Your veterinarian can also tell you whether a supplement could negatively interact with other medications that your pet is taking. Just because a product is marketed as “natural” doesn’t mean it is safe for your pet.

After speaking with your veterinarian, it’s a good idea to do some of your own homework as well so you can continue to have a well-informed dialogue about keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy. Click here to read a great article from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on pet supplements and links below to the US Pharmacopeia (USP) and for information about product testing for verification of safety and quality control of specific products.

USP Verification Services | USP

Independent Tests and Reviews of Vitamin, Mineral, and Herbal Supplements |