Duke Goes to the Vet: Banfield Pet Hospital

Last weekend we took Duke to get a checkup at our local Banfield Pet Hospital. He had only been to the animal clinic since we adopted him and over the last ten weeks or so, I’ve developed a lot of silly little questions I wanted to ask but couldn’t at the animal clinic. (I didn’t want to hold up the line!)

Our experience at Banfield was amazing! I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was located inside our local PetSmart. We had a coupon for a free visit since we were new clients so I decided we’d try it out. (Get your own coupon here! $45 savings!)

The staff at Banfield was the best part. Our vet tech took the time to answer a bunch of my silly questions and was great with Duke. They bonded pretty quick & she allowed Duke to wander around the exam room and sniff everything before she used it on him. He didn’t even flinch when she took his temperature! I wanted to give a shout-out to Michelle at PetSmart Cambridge for being so awesome. Next week is National Vet Tech Week – a week to appreciate your vet techs and learn more about the important role they play, so thank you to our wonderful vet tech!


Take some time next week to thank your vet tech! They’re so important in the care of our pets!


What are they going to do to me?!

We brought the records the adoption agency had given us and had the vet look over them to make sure he was all up to date. He has all of his core shots, but she recommended another optional two that we passed on for the time being. The one thing she strongly recommended was to start Duke on heart-worm prevention, which we did. First they did a test to make sure he was heart-worm negative, which he was, and now we have a pill to give him once a month to keep him like that. It was difficult to tell what was really necessary and what was just suggested – it felt a lot like taking a car to the mechanic, you never quite know what is really necessary! The next thing we’re looking into is some sort of flea/tick prevention product. With winter fast approaching and Duke only spending moderate amounts of time outside, usually not with other dogs, we’re unsure what steps we should take. We don’t even know what brands are out there other than what is advertised on television!

Other things the vet mentioned:

  • Duke is at a healthy weight at 28 pounds.
  • She agreed he is between 1 and 2 years old, so I’ve decided his birthday is going to be July 29, 2011. July 29 was the day we brought him home. 🙂
  • His teeth look healthy.
  • He probably won’t need any paw protection from the snow, but if spends a lot of time outside, booties are the way to go.
  • Some of his strange bumps are harmless cysts, but to keep an eye on them. We think others are acne-like.
  • She said the grain-free diet wouldn’t help the gas, in fact, it might be making things worse. So we switched him over a grain included formula of the same brand.
  • He’ll need another round of all his shots next year, per Massachusetts law. Then they’ll be good for three years.

This trip about doubled the amount of vet records we had for Duke, it was so good to get tons of information and ask all these little questions. I’m so glad he got a clean bill of health.


Look at that face!

Again, I can’t say enough good things about the vet & vet tech that saw Duke. They were great with him & us! The only downside was the sales pitch for their health insurance plans (they made us watch a 4 minute video!) but as soon as they realized we really weren’t interested they dropped it.

What do you do for flea & tick prevention?
Where do you get your dog’s medication?  From your vet, online, or elsewhere?
We’re first time dog owners, so your advice is SO helpful!!

Today we’re joining the This ‘N That Thursday Blog Hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs Blog and Ruckus the Eskie
As they say, “It’s a little of this and a little of that and everything in between..”
Thanks for having us! 



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21 thoughts on “Duke Goes to the Vet: Banfield Pet Hospital

  1. Omigoodness. Duke is a beauty. I think flea prevention depends on location. When we lived in Florida, I used Frontline on my dogs year round. Here in Oklahoma, I only treat during the summer months, and then only sparingly. The poisons in my dogs’ bloodstream freaks me out a little. Our winters kill the fleas, and summer is usually hot and dry enough that they’re not an issue.

  2. Hi Duke! Glad to hear that your vet visit went so well! I have to go next week for my annual check up, sigh. For flea prevention we know about a great all natural dog shampoo called Bobbi Panter’s Charlie Dog. It works amazing at preventing fleas & ticks. For meds we get them from the vet but then from 1800petmeds.com like their monthly Advantage that I only get spring through fall and my heartworm which I take all year long. Love Dolly

  3. Glad Duke’s super healthy and that you had a good experience with Banfield. I really like their services and their wellness plans; I’ve been using them for years since I got my cat in the 90s! They get a bad rap in many places and I’m not entirely sure why because I’ve had a lot great experiences with them.

    • It didn’t seem like a bad deal, it was just more money than we were looking to put down up front. But it is good to know that you’ve had good experiences with them!

  4. I’m glad to hear that you had a great experience at Banfield, save for the sales pitch on their plans.
    For flea prevention, we used to use Program (once-a-month pill) and it worked perfectly. For heartworm (and other parasite) prevention, we used Interceptor. Novartis stopped making both Program and Interceptor, but still makes Sentinel, which is a combination of the ingredients in Program and Interceptor, so we may switch to that.
    Right now, we are off flea season, so they’re getting nothing for fleas and remain flea-free, and for heartworms, they are getting Iverhart Plus (although the vet’s office gave my husband Iverhart Max the last time and he didn’t know to say, “Hey, we only use Plus, not Max.)
    As far as ticks – I have a severe phobia of ticks (weird, I know) – so we never walk in woodsy areas where ticks like to party. We still check the dogs diligently just in case and we’ve never found a tick on them.
    I am very pro grain-free, so it bums me out that your vet told you to switch back to a grain-inclusive diet. I take anything vets say about food with a grain of salt because they are not taught anything about nutrition in veterinary school (or at least they didn’t used to be). I’m not pro grain-free because that’s what’s popular, I am pro grain-free because without getting into a whole preachy spiel, dogs just simply don’t need grains. They’re just not part of the natural canid diet. I challenge anyone to find a wolf, fox, coyote, etc. chomping down on corn, wheat, rice, etc. in the wild. In fact, canids don’t need any kind of carbs. Carbs aren’t necessarily BAD for them, they just don’t NEED them… they can process all the energy they need from proteins and to a lesser degree, fats. So yeah, dogs mostly just need meat! Fruits and veggies are good in moderation (no grapes and no onions, though!)
    Ideally, raw food is best for dogs (and cats too), but we haven’t made it there yet. We feed a high-quality grain-free kibble and still have some gas, depending on the protein. They love fishy food, but get more gas from it. We use two products that help a lot, though. Gas Busters by Vet’s Best and Prozyme (we use both together)… I usually get them on Amazon – both are inexpensive and last a long time. I know they help because in the morning, they get dry kibble in a food toy and no supplements. In the evening, they get kibble moistened with water, plus vitamins and their enzymes, etc. During the day, they will sometimes sit under my desk and gas me out. In the evening, they have very little gas, if any. We usually rotate proteins… right now they’re on beef and seem to be having much less gas, even in the mornings.
    Anyway, whether you feed him grain-free or keep him on grains, it’s worth a shot to test out some enzymes, probiotics, etc. to help with the gas. You might also try giving him some yogurt (plain… no sugar added!) and/or plain canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix) sometimes. Both can be good for digestion.
    I read your other post about his gas and yes, excitement and/or nervousness can make them fart more, so I’m not surprised that he was bombarding you in the car. I usually drive, while my hubs sits in the back with the dogs (his choice) and I laugh because they gas him out back there from all the excitement.
    Sorry this was so long! Duke is super handsome(!) and even though it’s a few months late, congrats on the adoption!!

    • This is SO helpful, you have no idea! That’s such a good point about their natural diet, no grains and varied types of meat. I’m going to write down all the brands you suggested so I can remember them when it comes time. Again, SOO helpful, thank you!!

  5. The comment about grain-free making gas worse is interesting 🙂 We rotate a mix of grain-free and non-grain free so it should be interesting to observe if it happens for us. We get our frontline from the shelter that we adopted Donna from since they buy it in bulky at cheaper prices. Nice to meet you 🙂

  6. Thanks so much for participating in TNT! I was out of town and so am just now getting around to visit everyone’s posts!

    Duke sure is a cutie. He looks so worried in that first picture. Its OK they are nice Duke!

    In my opinion, Heart worm preventative is very important if you live in an area with mosquitoes. If your dogs gets heat worm, they have a treatment, but it is very expensive and unpleasant and not without bad side effects. We buy our heart worm and flea and tick preventatives at our vets. The drug companies guarantee them if you use them correctly and buy through a vet. I have heard of cases where heart worm preventative has failed and the drug company paid for the treatment where the preventative was used in accordance with vet instructions.

    We use Frontline on our dogs for flea and tick control. We apply it April through September or October. Our dogs are hunting dogs and tend to go to areas with ticks so we use it mostly for that. Heart worm we use Heartguard and they get that April through December. That is what our vet recommends for our area.

    It is really nice if you can develop a rapport with a vet at a clinic that sees a lot of dogs because they will know about failures in meds and what works best in your area. IMO cheaper is not always best when buying meds for your dogs. They will also know if cases of other diseases are around like lepto or parvo and what the risks are for dogs in your area.

    I understand what you are saying about having to watch a video about insurance. That would bug me too. But it is something that can potentially be very helpful. Our Thunder bloated a couple of years ago and we had no insurance. That surgery was $4200. Yikes! OK so we still did not buy insurance for our other dogs…lol.

  7. We use Frontline when necesarry I’m not a great lover of all these chemicals, and our two cats are indoor cats so no need to worry about them bringing any into the house. I believe garlic is a good deterent but wouldn’t like to say how much is safe. Good news on Dukes clean bill of health.

  8. Glad Duke got a clean bill of health!

    Some foods make Blueberry more gassy than others. I actually have her on a grain-free diet of Acana Ranchlands Lamb and Apple formula. But if you are using a food that works for him and causes less gas – then stick with that. 🙂

    I also use K-9 Advantixx II for flea and tick prevention. It’s a topical to be used every month. When I first adopted Blueberry I used it on her monthly. Now, I probably give it to her once every few months. She is out hiking/walking with me just about every day in the desert – but so far I haven’t ever had a flea or tick problem with her. If I plan on taking her someplace I know a lot of other dogs will be – then I’ll apply it just to be safe. She’s on a monthly heart worm preventative too. And even though her teeth are in pretty good shape – I have her teeth cleaned under general anesthesia on a yearly basis. There can be things going on underneath the gum line so it’s something I am willing to pay for. Prevention is key and costs less in the long run.

    That’s funny that they made you watch an insurance video. I’ve never had insurance for my dogs – but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to get it – it’s really up to you.

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