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Novak Animal Care Center
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Springtime Sniffles

Does your pet suffer from seasonal allergies?
With spring in full swing, many of us start to plan for our annual allergies. With pollination beginning and new plants sprouting up, we humans gear up for our daily Dogs regimen of allergy protection techniques. But, did you know that our pets can suffer from seasonal allergies as well? Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer from food, medicinal and environmental/ seasonal allergies. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of such allergies, because if left untreated, our pets can become very ill. Dogs tend to have more issues with allergies than our feline friends, but none-the-less it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your cats, too.

Signs to Look For:
Our pets can have the usual allergy symptoms of congestion, sneezing, coughing and runny noses and eyes. In addition, your pet may begin continuously scratching themselves, or rubbing against walls, furniture and the floor. Licking and biting at their skin is also a key sign of allergies. Sometimes, scratching and biting can be associated with a severe flea allergy.

Did you know that when your dog is licking or biting at their skin, the saliva will turn their fur a reddish color? Beyond red fur, your pets’ skin can also become red and inflamed. It is important to seek out your veterinarian when this occurs. The more irritated the skin is, the more likely that infection will take place. A scaly rash can be an indicator of infection. It is also important to watch for ear infections. You should be mindful of pets shaking their head, rubbing their ears, and/or a brownish discharge inside the ears. Ear infections can even be the first allergy indicator.

Seek Help:
Consult your veterinarian if you suspect that your pet has allergies. Many times they are very easy to control, but once they get out of hand it can be difficult and uncomfortable for your pet to treat. Your veterinarian can recommend the most effective method to prevent and manage your pet’s allergy symptoms.

Wishing you and your furry friends a wonderful (sniffle-free) springtime!
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The holiday season has arrived, but with all of the celebration comes possible health concerns for our furry friends. Emergency visits to the veterinarian increase during the holidays and are usually due to pets eating something they shouldn’t. Below are some general tips to enjoy the holidays with your pet this year:
 
Make no bones about it. Meat bones can easily splinter and cause serious damage to your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Make sure you have properly disposed of all of the bones and that the garbage is kept out of reach from your curious companions.
 
Pets aren’t for stuffing. Too many fatty, seasoned, unfamiliar foods can lead to pancreatitis and gastroenteritis in your pet. Both of these medical conditions can be painful and even life-threatening. If you decide to give your pet a bite of turkey, make sure it is boneless, lean and well-cooked to avoid salmonella bacteria.
 
Avoid the sweets, stick with treats. Consider all of the desserts prepared during the holidays, many of which contain chocolate and other toxic ingredients to our pets. Keep your pet’s noses out of the batter and focused on a treat of their own such as a made-for-pet chew bone or a Kong toy.
 
Keep out of the kitchen. Even if your pet isn’t one to snoop through the trash, the tasty smells of freshly cooked food can be very tempting, so make sure the garbage and kitchen preparations are properly tied up and covered to avoid your pet reaching any dangerous items or making a mess of the festivities.
 
Eat, drink, and be merry. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, make sure your pet has fresh water, food of their own and quiet time away from the excitement to ensure they aren’t overwhelmed by the festivities.
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Does My Senior Pet Need Bloodwork?

Here’s a quick explanation on why it’s good to get annual blood tests for your senior (7+ yrs) pet: 

If done consistently, annual blood tests can help a veterinarian track and evaluate the overall condition of a pet’s vital organs and health.  In addition, blood tests can help a veterinarian detect early signs of many serious health conditions such as: kidney disease, diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and liver disease.

Senior profiles are more comprehensive and will provide a more thorough evaluation of your pet’s current health.  These panels can also provide a good look into the body’s response to medications and anesthesia.  There are different types of blood tests that can be done, all performing different functions.  A CBC, complete blood cell count, looks for adequate red and white blood cell numbers and checks their present condition.  The chemistry profile looks at various organ enzymes, glucose, proteins, electrolytes, and cholesterol.  Finally, senior panels also look at thyroid function, making sure it is not over or under active.  In addition, your veterinarian may need to check your pet’s urine for signs of disease.

Routine blood work is useful in many applications: to establish a baseline on a healthy pet to compare to later, to help diagnose a pet that is “just not right”, and in geriatric pets.  Speak to your veterinarian today to see if a senior blood panel is right for your furry friend.
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Don’t Lose Your Pet This Summer

Summer is your pet’s favorite time of the year. The grass is green, the water is cool and there is more daylight to enjoy the outdoors. In rural areas it’s easy let your pet roam free without a care, but how do you ensure they always end up back in your arms? Here are a few good ways to help make sure you never lose your furry friend.

1. Pet Tags: The simplest way ensure your pet doesn’t stay lost for long is to add a small tag to their collar that includes the pet’s name and your phone number. If the constant jingling of a tag drives you or your pet crazy, simply have the contact information embroidered directly onto their collar.
2. Microchips: A more advanced solution to pet tags, a microchip about the size of a grain of rice can be embedded under the skin. Animal shelters that scan for these chips successfully deliver pets with microchips back to their families at a 75% rate.
3. GPS Tracking: The latest and greatest in pet reunification. Track your pet from an app on your mobile device to be ever-connected with your animal. As a bonus, you can even use the device as an activity monitor to learn how much exercise your pet is getting. These apps do however come with a monthly fee to maintain location service.

How do you keep your pet from getting lost? Let us know in the comments below.
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Top Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet.

1. It helps control the pet population. Current estimates show there are 45 times more cats and 15 times more dogs than humans on this planet. Many countries are forced to euthanize or disregard the suffering of these animals within their societies due to the overpopulation.

2. Sterilizing your pet will help them live longer, healthier lives. The average dog will live up to three years longer if sterilized and altered cats can live up to five years longer than their unaltered counterparts. This is because sterilized animals have a much smaller risk of developing a variety of different tumors and cancers.

3. A sterilized pet is a safer pet. Having your pet spayed or neutered decreases their likelihood to roam, therefore reducing the chances of them contracting diseases or getting hurt while roaming. Nearly 85% of dogs hit by cars are not sterilized. 

Still not convinced? Consider these additional benefits. Spayed pets have no heat cycles, and therefore won’t be bothered by males as much. Neutering your pet reduces the risk of spraying and marking and also decreases aggressive behavior. 

Can you think of any other benefits of spaying or neutering your pet? Let us know in the comments below!
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Five Ways Your Pet is Keeping You Healthy

Have you thanked your pet lately? You should. Your pet works hard each day to ensure that you’re physically and mentally strong. Here are some ways the pet in your life is keeping you well.
 
1.     They get you outside Your pet wants to play outside and they want you to come with. By spending time outdoors, you expose yourself to the calming effects of nature as well as fresh air and the Vitamin D supplied by the sun. Make an effort to get outside with your pet more often this Spring.
2.     They reduce your stress Petting your furry friend releases a hormone called oxytocin which is known for regulating stress and anxiety. Next time you’re feeling stressed, give your pet some love. It’s a win-win. They get attention, and you feel more relaxed.
3.     They reduce isolation Pets can help fill the void of living alone. When no one else is around, a pet will always listen and rarely interrupt. Furthermore, pets are great social icebreakers. Whether playing around in a park or taking a stroll through your neighborhood, a pet is always eager to introduce you to the next person they see.
4.     They make you smile Your pet has a personality of its own and isn’t shy about it. When your pet’s funny antics cause a chuckle, it raises serotonin and dopamine levels, which make you feel calm and joyful.
5.     They keep you moving Playing with your pet keeps you active. On average, pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol than non-pet owners. So, next time your pet wants to play, realize they won’t be the only one to receive a benefit.

Can you think of any other ways that your pet is keeping you healthy? Let us know in the comments below!
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As we celebrate the holiday season, we’d like to make sure that our furry friends don’t get wrapped up in some of the decorations or festive treats that may be hazardous to their health. Be on the lookout for some of the dangers that may be lurking around the house during the holidays.
 
Resist the Fancy Feastings
As a part of our family, most of us try to share our holidays with our pets. But as difficult as it may be, try and resist the urge to indulge your pet in the rich foods of the season. Gastrointestinal upsets which can actually lead to more serious conditions such as pancreatitis are common complaints we see this time of year. Pets are not people and will do much better on a quality pet food diet!
 
Did you know that ingesting several ounces of chocolate can kill a small dog? Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are even more toxic. Make sure to keep all chocolate far out of reach of pets.
 
Deck the Halls
While decorative plants adorn many homes at this time of year, be aware that many ornamental plants of the season can be toxic to pets. Mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, and lilies are just a few. Symptoms can range from mild gastrointestinal upset, nausea and vomiting to kidney failure. When decorating with plants, remember to restrict animal access.
 
Oh Christmas Tree …
A veritable wonderland for animals, especially cats. But dangers abound! Water from your tree may contain fertilizers that can upset your pet’s stomach. Ribbons, tinsel, and string can easily become lodged in intestines and cause obstructions. Glass or other ornaments, if ingested, can cause internal lacerations. Close proximity to candles can singe hair quickly … or cause fires if accidently knocked over.
 
Dangers also lurk under the tree. Electric cords are potential electrocution risks. Small toys can cause obstructions and batteries contain corrosives that can cause ulcerations to the mouth, tongue and GI tract.
 
The Weather Outside is Frightful …
Adequate shelter from the elements should always be available for your outdoor pets. And don’t forget … water bowls left outside WILL freeze!
 
Outdoor cats will often seek the warmth from a car engine and climb right up under the hood. To avert any CATastrophes, bang on the hood or honk the car horn before starting your vehicle to warn any unsuspecting cat time to flee!
 
Winter Wonderland
Ice melting products, depending on the active ingredient, can be irritating to pet’s skin, pads and mouth. Restrict your pets’ access to areas where these products have been applied or make sure they wear their rubber booties too!
 
Antifreeze is sweet to the taste but did you know that one teaspoon can be lethal to a cat (4 teaspoons to a 10 pound dog!). Thoroughly clean up all spills and store antifreeze in tightly closed containers.
 
Not a Creature Was Stirring ….
Except for the mice! Ingested rat and mouse bait can cause serious clotting disorders. When using these products be sure to place them in areas totally inaccessible to pets. Always keep the product information should a problem arise. In an emergency, it is helpful to know which active ingredient was involved.
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Pet Safety This Halloween
 
Halloween ushers in its own brand of awesomeness in the form of pumpkins, candy, and costumes. Spider webs and creepy decorations set the stage for ghost stories and trick-or-treating. But holiday fun for humans can translate into hazards for pets. Halloween is the busiest time of year for the Pet Poison Helpline because companion animals often accidentally ingest Halloween candy or décor. Check out the following tips to help keep your furry friends safe and happy this Halloween season:
 
Keep your animals inside around Halloween and away from the front door during trick-or-treating. Animals can become excited or threatened by visitors, so keep them in a separate and enclosed room where they can remain calm—this also eliminates the risk that they will escape. Don’t leave dogs in the yard because they can escape or be subjected to torment by passersby. As an added precaution, make sure that your animal companions wear identification at all times. And if you’re going trick-or-treating, don’t take your animals with you.
Although all cats should be indoor cats, this is even more important during the month of October—especially if you have a black cat. Black cats are often associated with dark forces and are an easy target for Halloween pranksters who commit violent acts against unsuspecting kitties.
Decorations pose a threat to dogs, cats, and other animals. Keep your animal companions away from jack-o-lanterns, candles, balloons, or other decorations that they could ingest, become tangled in, or be injured by.
One of the biggest hazards to four-legged friends during Halloween is candy. Keep candy in secure containers and in an area that your animal companions cannot gain access to. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and sugary candy can lead to pancreatitis. Raisins, certain nuts, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in some gums and candies) can also be poisonous to furry friends. Plus, animals don’t remove the wrappers from candy and may try to eat discarded wrappers—ingesting these wrappers can cause choking or life-threatening bowel obstruction.
If you think your animal companion has ingested something, symptoms to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, not defecating or straining to defecate, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures. Contact us or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
Do not hesitate to contact us or the 24-hour Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 1-800-213-6680 if you suspect that your animal companion has ingested something or might be injured.
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Is Your Car Too Warm For Your Pet?
 
Leaving your pet in a car on a hot summer day can put your pet at risk of serious illness or death, even on a day that doesn’t seem that hot to you. Here are a few reasons why your pet should never be left unattended in a vehicle.
 
- Your car temperature can rise 40 degrees per hour, meaning a 72 degree day can feel like 112 in your car within 60 minutes.
- It’s been shown that rolling down the windows has little effect on the temperature inside your vehicle.
- On warmer days your car can reach temperatures of 120 degrees within minutes.
 
It’s important to leave your pet at home or in a cooler environment on hot days to avoid heatstroke symptoms including: excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, decreased appetite, rapid heartbeat, fever and vomiting. If your pet shows any signs of overheating, it is imperative to get them cooled off immediately and taken to a veterinarian for additional care.
 
Do you have any tips to keep your pet safe on hot summer days? Share with us below!
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Do You Understand Your Pet’s Nutritional Needs?

Although your pet may love to eat just about anything you give to them, it’s important to understand that their nutritional needs are different from ours.

The average human needs to consume 2000-2500 calories per day. A small, low-activity dog or average sized cat needs only 200-350 calories per day, while a 70-90 pound dog should consume 1000-2000 calories per day.

Unfortunately, many of our pets eat much more than that on a daily basis. It’s no wonder over a quarter of all cats and dogs are overweight.

Next time you’re about to give your furry friend a handful of human food, consider these guidelines.

1. Dogs should consume a minimum of 18% of their daily calories from protein and 10-15% from fat. 
2. Cats need a minimum of 35-40% of their daily calories from protein and 30% from fat.
3. There is no minimum amount of calories your dog or cat must consume from carbohydrates.
4. Just like humans, dogs and cats are made up of 60-70% water, so it’s vital that they stay hydrated throughout the day. 
5. If you can’t feel your dog or cat's ribs without pressing, chances are they’re overweight. Make an effort to exercise with your pet this summer.

Do you have any additional nutrition tips for pet owners? Let us know in the comments below.
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April Showers Bring May Flowers...and Pet Anxiety?

Storm phobias are a common behavioral problem many pet owners face. Thankfully, there are a couple of solutions that can provide your pet the relief they desire. 

1. Just get through it  - If storms are rare or predictable in your area, or if your pet’s storm anxiety is only minor, try this simple solution.

Place a small crate or cage in a secluded area of your house and drape a rug or heavy blanket over the enclosure to insulate it from the sound and block out any light. Train your pet to use the enclosure as a safe place during storms by guiding them to it with chew treats or toys. Soon your pet will likely start making their way to the safety of the cage every time a storm arises.

If additional support is needed, ask your veterinarian about using benzodiazepines, which can be administered to your pet in anticipation of the storm and help keep them calm.

2. Behavioral Training - Although retraining your pet’s emotional response to thunderstorms can take time, it may be best option. 

Start by playing the sounds of thunderstorms (these can be found on YouTube) over a speaker at a low volume. While the sounds play, sit with your pet offering them their favorite treats as they sit calmly through the noise. Over time, increase the volume until your pet is completely desensitized to the sound.

If you’ve found other solutions to your pet’s storm phobia, let us know in the comments below!
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Keep Your Pet Healthy & Happy This Year
 
With the new year in full swing, it’s time to reexamine how you take care of your pet.  Here are some New Year’s resolutions to follow that will keep your pet healthy and happy in 2015.
 
Annual Exams aren’t just for Humans Your pet may not show obvious signs of a health problem, so it’s always best to take your pet in for an annual check-up.  Heart problems, arthritis and toothaches are just a few of the problems your pet can develop with no noticeable signs or symptoms.  Get regular exams to reduce their risk.  _It’s the most important way to keep your pet healthy in 2015._
Spay and Neuter Your Pets Millions of pets end up in U.S. shelters each year.  Make sure you don’t add to that number by spaying and neutering your pets.  These procedures can be done as early as six to eight weeks old.  Not only will you be helping maintain the pet population, but you’ll also reduce your pet's risk of certain cancers and decrease the chances they get lost by curtailing their eagerness to roam.
No More Parasites Fleas are a pain; they can cause irritated skin, hot spots, infection and even hair loss.  Fleas also like to invite their friends to the party, introducing other parasites to your cat or dog.  Worse yet, if only one of those fleas get swallowed, it can end in tapeworms.  Don’t give parasites a fighting chance, use year-round prevention with flea and intestinal parasite control as well as heartworm prevention.
Rid the Excess Pounds  Obesity is a big problem for pets. Just like people, obesity puts your pet at a higher risk for developing serious health problems such as diabetes, cancer or arthritis.  Keep your pet fit this year by not overfeeding them. No matter how cute they look when they beg.  
Have Fun  Pets just want to have fun!  Pets need mental stimulation to thrive, just like people.  Take your dog on a walk or give your cat something to chase around.  Keeping your pets at play strengthens not only their muscles, but also their bond with you!
 
What pet care tips do you have for keeping your pet healthy and happy this year? Let us know in the comments below!
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
332 London Bridge Rd Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
332 London Bridge RoadUSArizonaLake Havasu City86403
(928) 208-4906novakanimalcare.com
Animal Hospital, Pet Adoption Service
Animal Hospital
Pet Adoption Service
Pet Boarding Service
Pet Groomer
Pet Supply Store
Today 9AM–5PM
Wednesday 9AM–5PMThursday 9AM–5PMFriday 9AM–5PMSaturday 9AM–12PMSunday ClosedMonday 9AM–5PMTuesday 9AM–5PM
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4.3
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4 reviews
"Very personable, I cant wait to go in for my dogs first appt!"
"Over priced, bad communication and slow service."
"Your treated one on one, doctor to pet owner, doctor to pet so to speak."
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Pete Harring's profile photo
Pete Harring
5 months ago
My Ginger an 8 year old American Bulldog started having seizures almost every 2 hrs. I am fairly new to Lake Havasu, so I had not found a VET for her yet. I called every place in town and Novak was the only place that showed any kind concern and urgency to provide her with care. They took her right in, did a whole battery of tests and found out the reason for her seizures. The Staff is very friendly and professional. I am especially impressed with the dedication and knowledge of DR Christi Innocenti. She called me repeatedly with true concern for Ginger and to report the test results. I have to add she called me on a Sunday afternoon and Monday evening at 8 PM with test results. I am happy to say that Ginger is doing much better and is clearly on the road to recovery. I owe everyone at Novak a debt of gratitude for saving my Ginger. THANK YOU!
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Response from the owner - 5 months ago
Thank you for sharing your experience, Pete! We are glad we were able to help Ginger and are so happy she is feeling better!
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Karen Lowry
6 months ago
Chisti Innocenti DVM made my Ellie very comfortable- did a through exam and was compassionate about the treatment of possible Melanoma of eyelids. Mapped out a great treatment plan by including her in a Senior pet package which is substantial savings.. only wants to put her under anesthesia one time and do all the procedures of eye mass removal, dental cleaning /dental treatment / vaccinations and heartworm testing. Although the outcome of the eye masses may be very serious Christi is very hopeful Ellie will be ok for a while.
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Michael Bauerlein
a year ago
My little girl was attacked by a coyote on 09/09/2015. We brought her home and stayed up all night with her but she was struggling. Went back today.....too much damage to the trachea and throat so we had to let her go. I held her in my arms while the drugs were injected and I felt her spirit leave. She's not suffering anymore now. During this whole process the staff at Novak's was great. They made a tough situation a little easier. They really care....I could see it in their eyes. BeeBee is gone now but what a life we enjoyed with her. Novak's was great....Some names that stick out were Dr. Tracy E. Keppel-Kolb, Heather and Kevin. Everyone was great though. Novak's is a great place for animal care and love.
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Response from the owner - a year ago
Thank you for your kind words, Michael. We know all too well how difficult losing a pet can be and are glad to hear that our staff was able to make this process a little easier for you. It has truly been an honor to have been entrusted with your pup’s care. Please know that our thoughts and sympathies are with you.
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Jim Gustav
2 years ago
The doctors are very professional, extremely knowledgeable and go above and beyond to do the absolute best for your pet. They explain everything so you can understand the situation especially the next course of action if needed. Your treated one on one, doctor to pet owner, doctor to pet so to speak. I have complete and total confidence with anything they do. The staff is extremely courteous, caring and compassionate. They too carry a special dedication to put your pet first and foremost. You will see just by calling for an appointment, then walking in.
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Response from the owner - 2 years ago
Thank you for the kind and supportive review, Jim! We are happy to hear that you had such a great experience with our clinic and staff. As pet lovers and owners ourselves, we understand the special role your pet plays as a member of your family; which is why we treat every pet client with respect and aim to educate you throughout the treatment process. Thank you for being such a wonderful client!
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James Gray
6 months ago
We just moved here from Temecula CA and trust me I have been to many vets for our Blonde Lab Mikki. It was time for him to go as he had a stomach tumor and could hardly walk. It was the hardest decision in my life to make as I did not want to see him suffer. We called Novak animal care and i could not have asked for any better attention from the whole staff. Very loving,considerate and they let us stay with our baby until we were ready to leave no rush at all. I would give these people 100 stars if I could.
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Jim Pfennigs
10 months ago
Novak Animal care center has cared for our babies (dogs) since we moved to LHC. We spent a week when we first moved here and visited all the animal clinics in town to make our decision on our vet care. Novak is a AAHA accredited hospital in town and that speaks loud and clear to us. We have had MANY medical emergencies and regular visits with our dogs , Dr Christi and Dr Tracy are phenomenal vets and their loving professional care of our dogs goes above and beyond. Their staff is kind and very professional all the time. The clinic is kept spotless, and they are the only veterinarians in LHC that see their emergencies, they do not rotate with other clinics so they know your dogs history. We would not consider using any other veterinary clinic.
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Response from the owner - 10 months ago
Hi Jim, thank you for your wonderful feedback. We are glad to hear you have trusted us with the care of your beloved pets. We hope to continue providing your furry friends with the best possible care and see you all again soon.
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Elisa Garrett
a year ago
I took my beloved companion to Novak Animal care because I had asked my vet to do a checkup and the person did not even touch her. They just said she looked great. I wanted more. Dr. Innocenti did a senior checkup which included blood work which is what I wanted. I had my dog's teach cleaned and a growth removed from her eyelid. It means the world to me to have the peace of mind to know exactly what is going on with her health. I think my separation anxiety was as bad or worse than my pet's. Dr. Innocenti had a procedure for transferring my pet to the holding area and away from me. It provided comfort to both of us. To the degree it was possible, I felt ok with leaving her. Dr. Innocenti personally called me even before the procedure to let me know that my pet was doing fine and then two more times to keep me posted on her progress. She genuinely cares for her patients, takes time to explain and listen, and understands how important the care she provides is to the client. The young man who was her nurse was just as attentive and caring as she was. I highly recommend Novak Animal care to anyone who wants quality care their animal companions.
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Response from the owner - a year ago
Hi Elisa, thank you for sharing your wonderful review. We are delighted to hear you have enjoyed a positive experience with our hospital and staff. Our number one priority is to provide your beloved pet with the best possible veterinary care in a loving and stress-free environment. Dr. Innocenti and the rest of the staff greatly appreciate your encouraging words and your recommendation.
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Kelley Heckart
a year ago
I have been going to Novak since we moved here back in 2001. My pets have always received top care. Doctor Innocenti is my primary vet and she is awesome, so is Dr. Kutil. The staff is friendly too.