Keep Your Furry Family Healthy

These days, our pets are part of the family.  So, it only makes sense to take the necessary steps to keep them healthy and happy, just like we do our human family.

Dr. Garry Gotfredson, co-owner of Red Hills Veterinary Hospital, said it’s important to build a trusting relationship with your vet, just as you would your family doctor.  Tell the vet your expectations for your pet, whether it’s simply a long and healthy life, working cows on the ranch, or hunting pheasants every fall, your vet can provide guidance to help achieve those goals.

“It’s working together so that your pet has the best outcome,” explained Gotfredson.

The veterinarians at Red Hills Veterinary Hospital have a combined 20 years experience with a wide variety of large and small animal breeds and agree that a solid foundation will go a long way for any pet. Dogs account for about 80 percent of pets treated at Red Hills.

Newborn puppies and kittens should receive their first vaccinations around six weeks and additional booster vaccines every three to four weeks until they hit 20 weeks.  Younger than six weeks, the little ones are still benefitting from their mother’s immune system.  After six weeks, the animal starts to build up its own immunities.

Remember, do not take your dog to dog parks until it’s fully vaccinated.

“You might be a phenomenal pet owner, and you’re going to do all your work.  But, when you go to the park, you’re going to run into that person that’s never done a single thing for their dog,” said Gotfredson.  “That’s the uncontrollable part.”

Every animal that comes in to Red Hills gets a physical exam. Dr. Gotfredson said that gives the vet a chance to get to know your animal when it’s healthy, making it easier to tell when they’re not feeling well.

“You came to me for my opinion, and I’m not going to give you anything less than my best,” offers Dr. Gotfredson.

Size and breed both matter when it comes to veterinary medicine.  However, between age one and seven, Gotfredson said it’s ideal to see pets twice a year for vaccinations, physical, and dental exams.  Typically, pets seven years and older are into their senior years and after 10 are considered geriatric.

“The number one thing you can do as they get older is keep them at a healthy weight,” said Gotfredson.

Approximately 80 percent of dogs and cats are overweight and that’s also the number one reason pet owners seek veterinary treatment.  Weight-related issues such as diabetes, joint problems, and cataracts.

Red Hills offers a wellness plan that breaks down your pets’ preventative healthcare needs into affordable monthly payments that includes vaccines, unlimited exams, yearly blood work and x-rays, and dental cleanings.

Gotfredson said that for people who are looking for more, they also offer pet health insurance.

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Charity grew up in Moorcroft and has lived in Gillette since 2001. She loves black dogs and staying involved in our community. If you have a tip or story idea, contact Charity at

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