Can you believe National Dog Week will be here next week?!  I thank everyone who has contributed to my blog posts and have given me so much support.  Here is a link to Patrick Mahaney’s latest video…http://teddyhilton.com/2011-09-16-exclusive-video-dr-patrick-mahaney.

Last week we met our National Dog Week artist, Donald E. Brown and presented the NDW Poster inspired by his art.  This week, I introduce our National Dog Week Pet Health Consultant, Patrick Mahaney, Hollywood Veterinarian to the Stars and PerezHilton Dog Blogger. Next week, during the 83rd Observance of National Dog Week, we hope you find your own special way to honor the nation’s 70 million plus dogs, or at least j one…

I got to know Patrick Mahaney when he posted a video of himself eating Lucky Dog Cuisine with The Pet Postcard Project’s Nikki Moustaki. They were having fun while drawing attention to a very serious matter, the passing of Nitro’s Law (see my post of February 28th).  I recall thinking that this is one dedicated Veterinarian, and a good sport to boot.

Patrick had expressed interest in learning about my work on behalf of National Dog Week and pursuant book Every Dog has it Week (which chronicles its history). When I published my short fiction collection, Something’s Lost and Must be Found, Patrick requested a review copy and then followed through beautifully. In our exchanges, it became clear that this multi-talented animal-lover had a real gift for communicating and easily engaged his audience with his lively blogs and progressive approach. I asked him to be our NDW Pet Health Care Consultant and he happily obliged!

Patrick Mahaney and Welsh terrier, Cardiff

Tell us a little bit about how you got your start in the competitive Veterinary Field? My first experience working in the veterinary field occurred during my college years at the University of Delaware. In order to make myself a better candidate for acceptance into veterinary school, I worked as a technician at Newark Animal Hospital in Newark, DE. In exchange for an amazing amount of hands on experience, I worked overnights, weekends, and whatever other hours were available.

I also attained a fellowship in the College of Agriculture at the U of DE which exposed me to the laboratory side of veterinary medicine. The research process of immunization development for infectious agents like avian influenza and Newcastle Disease virus exposed me (figuratively) to the complicated nature of animal illness and preventative measures applicable to human and veterinary public health.

How did you “land” in Los Angeles? Are you familiar with the term “one door closes and another door opens”? Well, that is how I landed in Los Angeles. I found myself displaced from my familiar urban surroundings while briefly living in Olympia, WA and partaking in less than fitting personal and professional situations. When the personal situation concluded, a professional opportunity in West Hollywood, CA immediately beckoned. Cardiff and I packed up my Prius and ventured south to our new home, where perpetual sun and opportunity abounded.

Tell us a about your blogs and special projects. Over the past three years I have discovered my true professional calling in writing
about my experiences and perspective on veterinary medicine. In doing so, I can educate the pet loving public in a larger scale format than exclusively practicing in a hospital facility.

Patrick’s Blog is my personal veterinary column on www.patrickmahaney.com, but I contribute content to FidoFriendly.com,
DogTime.com, I Love Dogs.com, WeHoNews.com, OutImpact.com, and others.

I regularly participate in radio projects such as MyBuddyButchRadio.com and my own show, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on
OutImpactRadio.com (http://outimpactradio.com/our-shows/healthy-pets-people-with-dr-patrick/)

I am also seeking a major network to feature my work as an international veterinary volunteer, which is based on my experiences working with Amazon CARES (http://www.amazoncares.org/) providing complimentary medical services to remote Peruvian communities on the Amazon River. My pitch and reel can be found on the TV Projects (link coming soon) page on www.patrickmahaney.com.

Since my teenage years, I have harbored an interest in current events-based journalism, especially that which focuses on celebrities and pets. Once my writing career began to take off, I naturally was compelled to create CelebrityPetNews.com, which infuses the spectacle of celebrity with practical information on pet health.

Finally, growing up as an artist, I needed an outlet to express my creative energy and observations of the sometimes visually grotesque world we inhabit. Therefore, I created HurtsToLook.com, which features hilarious photos of everyday life and offers others with similar perspectives to opportunity to contribute.

How did you become the TeddyHilton Blogger? Living in Los Angeles has permitted many first-hand experiences with celebrities on
both a personal and professional basis. Some of the media fixtures with whom I interact end up in the pages of celebrity focused magazines and blogs. Perez Hilton’s eponymous blog (PerezHilton.com) has notoriously gained readership for featuring information and photos that media personalities may otherwise prefer to keep out of the paparazzi’s lens.

After writing a series of articles for CelebrityPetNews.com titled “The Real Housedogs of Beverly Hills” (http://www.celebritypetnews.com/?s=housewives), I piqued Perez’ interest for his animal news website, TeddyHilton.com, which is dedicated to his beloved Goldendoodle, Teddy. My role is to make TeddyHilton.com more of a pet health resource by contributing videos, articles, and even live Skype Q & A sessions with dog and cat lovers all over the world.

Captain Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week,reported that, “The United States [1948] has approximately 15,000,000 dogs or one for each 10 persons…When we translate dog ownership into dollars and cents, a substantial chunk of big business is arrived at…the annual expenditure by the dog folks of America in behalf of their dogs totals $229,000,000, all of it spent without regret.”  How do these figures compare with costs today and what do you think are the “hot paw” topics pet-lovers should be focusing on now? Veterinary medicine has greatly advanced since 1948, as has the public’s demand for high quality pet health services and the dollar amount routinely spent by companion animal owners. This expenditure applies to veterinary procedures,diagnostics, medication, nutrition, grooming, boarding, and other prescribed and over the counter offerings.

It is inevitable that maintaining a healthy companion animal incurs an ongoing financial investment, therefore I suggest pet owners focus on circumventing preventable diseases. The top two preventable illnesses I see in veterinary practice are obesity and periodontal disease. Obesity is
caused directly by the pet owner, typically as a result of overfeeding and lack of sufficient exercise. Similarly, periodontal disease results from
insufficient cleansing of the mouth, a responsibility also belonging to the pet owner.

Both obesity and periodontal disease are preventable, reversible, are often overlooked due to owner unawareness or indifference, and can lead to irreversible and life threatening secondary diseases.

Responsible and proactive pet owners should focus on:Feeding appropriate quantities of human quality, whole foods (i.e. minimally processed from a natural form) starting in the juvenile life stage. Foods should be moist (not dry) and free from meals, by products, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors.

Engaging in physically and behaviorally stimulating daily activity. Exercise yields innumerable benefits for both pets and their human caretakers, including weight loss or maintenance and stress reduction.

Brushing teeth and providing toys/treats that promote reduced accumulation of tooth coating debris which is inherently laden with bacteria and other unhealthy immune stimulators.

Patrick and the late Will Judy have a lot in common when it comes to dog-care.  In 1949, Judy wrote a list of  “A Dozen Dog Care Do’s and Don’ts’ three of which stated, “Brush or wipe the teeth and gums with a soft cloth weekly and weakly,”  “Prolong your dog’s life by keeping him away from the dinner table…” and “Don’t hasten your dog’s death by feeding him too much and too often.”

In the months ahead, I’ll ask Patrick to discuss the importance of Spay and Neuter, the emotional and physical needs of shelter dogs, issues related to vaccinations and other topics you may suggest.

Welcome to National Dog Week, Dr. Patrick Mahaney!

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