Allyson Harris, DVM
Ask Dr. Harris about veterinary medicine

Ask Dr. Harris

Why does my pet need to have their stool (poop) checked a minimum of once a year?

Harmful intestinal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, and whip worms, are detected only by using a microscope. Dogs and cats easily pick up intestinal parasites through normal daily activities putting them at risk. Some parasites carried by your pets can pose a danger to you and your family, too.  Nearly 700 Americans go blind every year from infections caused by roundworms. Protect your pets and your family by getting your pets stool tested at least once a year.

Why must my cat be brought to the office in a carrier?

SAFETY. We require your cat be brought into the office inside their carrier for your cat’s protection and the safety of other pets. Our waiting room often hosts multiple pets during busy days. You should assume that any pet you encounter at WAH is sick or aggressive or both.

Why is is NOT OK for my dog to be walked off their leash?

It’s the law. Illinois state law requires your pet be leashed or inside of a fenced yard any time it is outside of your home. Protect your dog from accidents, injury or loss. Keep them leashed whenever you take them out, even when coming into WAH.

Why doesn’t WAH accept ALL flea and tick prevention?

Active ingredients in various brands of flea and tick preventions do not ALL perform equally. Most OTC (over the counter) medications have been around for so long, fleas and ticks are now resistant to them.  Brands of flea and tick preventions vary widely, but our research and continuing education allow us to stay current on new active ingredients and which are most effective. When in doubt, call us for advice.

Do my pets really need more vaccinations than rabies to protect them?

There are multiple diseases and contagions that we must protect our pets from, including some that pose dangers to you and your family. We set vaccination schedules according to your pets’ needs, but at minimum, you should plan dog vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis/Adenovirus, Leptospirosis, Parvo and Parainfluenza (DHLPP Booster), and Bordetella (Kennel Cough).  For cats, expect vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper,  Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Chlamydia (DRCC booster).

My cat NEVER goes outside. Do they still  need to be vaccinated annually?

Every time you go outside and return home you could be a carrier of certain diseases and put your own pet at risk.  Small animals and rodents, which can carry rabies, leptospirosis, and fleas can enter homes and yards undetected, putting your pet(s) at risk. Even for the few moments your cat slips outdoors you want to be sure to protect them with current vaccinations. Finally, remember, in Illinois, the rabies vaccination is required by law, whether your cat goes outside or not.

Why are vaccine requirements at WAH higher than at other facilities offering boarding and grooming?

Our commitment and therefore our standards for your pet’s health and well being are higher. As a full-service animal hospital, the possibility of an ill pet walking through the front door is greater. By maintaining requirements at such a level, you can be assured ALL pets are required to meet the same standard. These standards apply across the board, whether pets are here for hospitalization, boarding, or grooming! Retailers and other pet boarding and grooming facilities don’t bear the same responsibility or liability.  Our standards to protect your pet in our busy Hospital are at the highest level.

My puppy sure poops a lot. Can I feed him/her only once per day?

Puppies, like infants, should maintain a regular feeding schedule, offering them food as many as 3 or more times per day.  Puppies digest small meals more easily than big ones. So, if you’re feeding your puppy large meals twice per day, you’re taxing their tiny bodies. Instead, come to WAH for a full puppy exam, critical vaccinations, and great advice on what and how often to feed your pup.

Pet Tips from Dr. Allyson Harris

1.) Bring stool sample in a container that is sealed well.  Double-bag your sample if using a baggie.

2.) Stool samples should not be more than 24 hours old. Refrigerate the sample if you’re saving it overnight.

3.) Clearly label your pet’s stool sample with your pet’s name.

4.) When you adopt or rescue a pet, do your best to learn everything you can about their history before adoption.  When you call for an initial appointment, we’ll ask you for your pet’s breed, gender, how old they are, and their vaccination history.

Dr. Allyson Harris offers tips to protect your cat with a carrier

5.) Getting your pet into a carrier can be a challenge. Cats are smell oriented. Their sense of smell is about 14 times that of humans. Use that to your advantage and put things in your carrier that will smell familiar to your pet. Wash with hot water and mild cleansing products. Most cleansers don’t smell good to cats.

Clients Save at WAH

6.) At WAH, we occasionally run specials on flea and tick prevention. Ask how you can save when you call to book your appointment.

7.) Vaccinations, heartworm test and heartworm prevention, along with flea & tick prevention, are among the most important reasons to maintain regularly scheduled appointments at WAH. We know you care about your pets, and we do too!  We work tirelessly to make sure they’re healthy and we strive to detect and treat disease early. By maintaining your pet’s relationship with WAH, you will proactively keep them healthy and save money ultimately.

Parents of adorable puppies should get advice from Dr. Allyson

8.) You should feed your puppy small meals three times per day. There’s much to learn about your pet’s breed, and their needs for living a safe and healthy life with your family. At WAH, you’ll get more tips on caring for your pet without stress.

Hours & Info

1-773-249-7191
MON - FRI: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
SATURDAY: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
SUNDAY: CLOSED
Grooming scheduled separately

One Stop Veterinary Center for Cats & Dogs

Welcome to Conveniently Located Chicago Woodlawn Animal Hospital

Join Our Mailing List

We hate spam as much as you do. So, we'll never send it.