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Ways to Observe National Pet Memorial Day

September 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

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Heaven at Home Pet Hospice treasures the memory of the pets our vets have helped pass peacefully. On Sunday, September 9th, we’ll join you in spirit remembering your fur-baby. Please feel free to observe National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday by sharing the story of the pet you’d like to remember on our blog’s In Memoriam section, or on our Facebook page, using the hashtag #NationalPetMemorialDay. Read the rest of this entry »


Canine Influenza & Senior Dogs – What You Need to Know

August 14th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

Fotolia_87230374_SMedia reports of an oubreak of Canine Influenza H3N2 in West Michigan this summer have many pet parents wondering whether they should vaccinate their senior fur babies. As of this week, 13 cases of Canine Influenza have been reported in Ottawa County and 3 in Kent, with a total of 98 cases in Michigan.

Dogs do not have a natural immunity to H3N2, a relatively new strain that infected 1,000 dogs in Illinois in 2015 and since has spread throughout North America. According to Dr. Laurie Brush, founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice, vaccinations should always be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Read the rest of this entry »


Senior Feline Health Issues

July 25th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

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As our kittys age, physical and mental changes occur just as they do with people. Their metabolism may change, they sleep more deeply and may not be able to jump as high as they once did when they were younger. This being said, cats should be seen more often than once a year (recommendation is every 6 months) as they begin to age, usually around the age of 7 years of age.
It is always easier to treat a disease if caught early on and cats often do a great job at hiding some of these changes. They may often be subtle changes that we chalk up to slowing down due to age but these changes could also be due to a medical issue. Read the rest of this entry »


Ginny Mikita on Grieving Pet Loss – West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group

May 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

Meeting of a Grand Rapids, MI pet loss support group at Heaven at Home Pet Hospice and led by Ginny MikitaThe first rule of grieving is that there are no rules.

Companion-animal-loving Pastor and Animal Advocate Ginny Mikita makes this clear to the people who gather each month at the West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group hosted at Heaven at Home’s cozy quarters on Monroe Avenue.

“It’s important to experience grief in whatever fashion it manifests. We need to set aside the idea there is one right way to grieve or certain feelings that are correct and instead give ourselves the grace to feel what we’re feeling without judgment,” said Mikita. Read the rest of this entry »


Importance of Heartworm Preventative

April 20th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

Heartworm Disease is a potentially life threatening condition caused by parasitic worms that can live in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats. It is important to prevent heartworm disease versus waiting for your pet to contract it as it can be difficult and costly to treat. The treatment requires a series of treatments over several months.
Heartworm

How do pets get heartworm disease?
Mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it sucks blood containing microfilariae. (Microfilariae are the offspring of the adult heartworm). Once matured inside the mosquito, the offspring develop into infective larvae. This infective larvae are passed on when the mosquito bites another pet.

How to protect your pet?
Giving your pet a monthly preventative is key. Most heartworm preventatives also protect your pet from other intestinal parasites and fleas. Due to unpredictable seasons it is recommended to keep your pet on heartworm preventative year round.

A blood test is recommended to confirm that your pet is free of heartworm disease before prescribing heartworm preventative as many heartworm preventatives can cause illness if given with larvae in the bloodstream. Contact your pets veterinarian for their recommendations.

*For more specific information regarding heartworm disease and recommendations, go to https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources


Should my other pets be present

February 26th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

“Should my other pets be present during the euthanasia process?” is a common question we get.

The answer is definitely yes, if at all possible. Allowing other pets in the household to be present during euthanasia or giving them a chance to say goodbye after the pet has passed away often gives a sense of closure. This will also decrease the chance that the pet will be waiting at the door or look all over the house for their deceased friend to come back home. We want to lessen the chance of them becoming depressed, looking out the windows, or even going off their food during the grieving process.

We here at Heaven at Home encourage other pets to be present throughout the procedure if possible. Occasionally a young, hyper or anxious pet may be too distracting to be participatePics initially and in this case we encourage owners to have them in a different room. But often, even these personality types settle after becoming acquainted with the doctor and will have a “sense” of what is happening with their friend. Most times once we have begun, they lay down a small distance or even right next to their friend and accompany them as they cross over the rainbow bridge.

If for some reason it is impossible for other pets to be present during the procedure, they should at least have the chance to say good bye once the pet has passed. In most cases, the process does not take long, usually a brief sniff or glance before walking away. They often just seem to “know.” This does not mean that they won’t continue to grieve and may still look for their friend but it tends to help give a smoother transition. They will need extra love and support during the next few days as well.


Children In Grief Over Loss of Pets

January 9th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

children grieving over loss of pet illustrated by girl with dogHeaven at Home’s Dr. Laura Tay compiled the following tips to help children deal with grief over the loss of their pets after participating in a seminar by Kathryn Jennings, Executive Director of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).

We at Heaven at Home thought this might be helpful for your family as you work through this difficult time. Read the rest of this entry »


National Animal Hospice Day 2017: Raising Pet Hospice Awareness

November 1st, 2017 by Laurie Brush

National Pet Hospice Day on November 4th, 2017 at Heaven at Home Pet Hospice

Raising Awareness For Pet Hospice Care in Grand Rapids

For years, Dr. Laurie Brush has taken an active role in the Grand Rapids community educating pet parents about the benefits of palliative or hospice care for their aging pets. She’s appeared on local news stations, given interviews for the press, and done other forms of outreach, simply because there are too many pet parents out there who don’t know that in-home end-of-life care is even an option. All too often, people have to make difficult decisions about their pets’ final days without having enough information or time to prepare. Read the rest of this entry »


Ways to Celebrate National Pet Memorial Day 2017 in West Michigan

September 8th, 2017 by Laurie Brush

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Heaven at Home Pet Hospice would like to remind everyone that National Pet Memorial Day is coming up on Sunday, September 10th, 2017. This is a day for people to remember their deceased companions in a warm, positive light and reflect on all of the happy memories from the course of the pet’s life.

The passing of a pet can hurt just as much as the death of a person, and looking back on everything that made our pets special to us is an important part of the healing process. National Pet Memorial Day is a fine occasion for pet caregivers to progress through the grief into a healing journey. Below, we’ve included a few ideas for commemorating your beloved pet this year: Read the rest of this entry »


How to Help Houston Animals in Harvey’s Aftermath

August 31st, 2017 by Laurie Brush

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 1.27.54 PMOur fur friends in the Houston area need help while their humans are in emergency shelters in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Efforts by local and national animal advocacy organizations continue with coordinated transportation and sheltering of displaced pets through the ASPCA and Wings of Rescue, while local initiatives that include funding local food, bedding and vet care for nearby shelters. If you’d like to donate to help out, we’ve listed four links to verified initiatives below. Locally, the Houston Homeless Pet Society is also issuing updates and accepting donations here. Read the rest of this entry »