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Inappropriate elimination is the most common behavior problem seen in cats – when cats urinate or defecate outside of the litter box, it makes for a very unhappy home. But often, both the problem and the solution require pet parents to think inside the box – literally (don’t forget, a visit to the vet should be your first step to rule out any medical problems).

For a practically purr-fect potty, check off these tips:

  • litter to love: Studies have shown that most cats prefer unscented clumping clay or sand litters at a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches.  But your cat is an individual, so you may want to try a few varieties of litter to learn which on your feline friend prefers.
  • comfy commode: It turns out that not all boxes are created equal.  Consider a litter box with low sides for kittens or senior cats, who may have trouble climbing in.  If you have a cat on the larger side, a bigger box will make her life easier.  No one likes feeling cramped in the bathroom.
  • put a lid on it?  Litter box covers make our lives easier because they allow for less mess around the box, but covered boxes may make your cat feel vulnerable or trapped.  Try one week off to learn how much privacy your cat needs.
  • location, location, location:  Put litter boxes in private, easily accessible places.  Make sure your cat can see in all directions (but against a wall or in a corner is fine).  Avoid placing litter boxes next to appliances.  While a laundry room seems like a perfectly logical place to put a box, imagine your cat’s distress at being caught in the box when the washer goes off balance or the dryer buzzes loudly.  These things can turn a litter box into a seriously scary place.
  • multiply and conquer: Your home should have one litter box per cat, plus one (example: for three cats you should have at least 4 boxes). Don’t put them all in a row though – if you have a multi-level home, place at least one box on each level.  Nobody likes having to run up multiple flights of stairs when nature calls – especially older, arthritic kitties.
  • exit plan: Particularly in multi-cat homes, make sure there is more than one entrance or exit to the box.  Family cat dynamics don’t always gel, and your cat doesn’t want to feel trapped in her box.  If she is the victim of a sneak attack, she needs to be able to escape unscathed.
  • clean sweep: This is no one’s favorite job, but it’s a necessary evil for avoiding litter box aversion.  Scoop the box at least once a day every day.

Once litter box aversion or inappropriate elimination behavior starts, it can be tough to find a solution.  If you’ve tried all of these tips and your feline friend’s problem persists, talk to your veterinarian about other options.

Veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them - if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Vaccinations, heartworm prevention and routine deworming are importatnt components of wellness care and can prevent diseases that are not only life threatening, but very expensive to treat.

We can recommend a wellness program based on our pet's breed (some breeds are predisposed to certain health problems), age, lifestyle and overall health.

Summertime often finds people and their pets visiting natural bodies of water for recreation!  Lakes, rivers, ponds, streams and reservoirs can be refreshing for all of us but can also be a source of disease.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which can infect the liver and kidneys of any mammal including dogs, cats and people. Often difficult to detect, symptoms vary and can cause serious complications.

Fortunately, there is a vaccine available for dogs. Two injections are initially required 3-4 weeks apart followed by a yearly booster.

Please contact our office to speak with one of the doctors for more information and to see if this vaccine would benefit you and your family!




Lyme disease is a debilitating bacterial infection that can affect any mammal including dogs, cats and people. It is transmitted by the bite of a tick. The deer tick is the primary carrier which feeds on deer and the white footed mouse.The symptons range significantly with pets. One pet may suffer from no symptoms, while others will have mild flu like symptoms and then of course, there are very serious cases of fever, lameness, heart and kidney complications.

Lyme disease can be prevented by vaccination in dogs, and through the use of flea and tick preventatives in dogs and cats. A simple office blood test can tell if your dog has been exposed. If your dog tests positive, a course of antibiotics is highly recommended.  Vaccination is two part, each vaccine given 3-4 weeks apart. We stongly recommend vaccinating dogs and using tick preventatives in dogs and cats.

Please call to set up and appointment for vaccinating your dog and to discuss prevention.  

March is national nutrition month. With that being said it’s important to take care of your pets and keep them healthy!

Good Heart Healthy Tips for you and your pet:

Below are some tips that will help you keep your pets healthy and in shape:

  • Diet – A healthy diet is good for your pet’s heart just as it is good for our own hearts. Discuss your pet’s diet with your vet, to help determine the right pet food.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise will keep you and your pet in great shape. If you have any question about exercising be sure to ask your vet!
  • Routine Checkups – Take your pets to the vet every six months to catch any health problems early!

One thing that most pet owners have in common is the love they feel for their pets! After all, they are our four-legged children! Pets are always there to make you smile, laugh and share endless amounts of kisses! 

We asked our staff to share their feelings towards their pets, be sure to share your pet stories below in the comments! 





The January’s Polar Vortex may be over, but winter is still around for a few more months here in New Jersey, and the rest of the Northeast! The cold weather presents many challenges for pet owners!

Here are several tips to keep your pets safe this winter:

  • Slips and falls are very common for our four-legged friends when out walking. (Not just pet owners!) Dogs can sustain sprains and strains as well.  Know your pet’s limits and keep an eye out for limping and whining.
  • During walks, ice can accumulate between their pads and cut their paws. To help prevent this, wipe down your pets paws and in between their toes. 
  • Salt and chemical deicers can also get on your pets paws and fur, which can burn, irritate and even make them sick, if digested. After walks, wash your pet’s paws, legs and belly to remove any salt or chemicals.
  • Remember to keep your pets warm! A big misconception among people is that their fur will keep them warm, but it’s untrue! Animals can get frostbite and hypothermia. Please keep your pets inside in cold weather or provide them a warm shelter.

Dr. Garruba is now a TV celebrity!

Watch our own Dr. Garruba on the local talk show “Skyrocket Your Business” which airs on Comcast Channel 30, Verizon Channel 45 and on the Internet at The show times are Monday at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. 

See you at the Animal Hospital!


Now that the Holidays are here, there are special needs of our pets even in the midst of celebrations!  Pet families, we know you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.


Garland, tinsel, string and ribbons! Cats love to eat and play these sparkly and pretty items. Unfortunately this can cause intestinal obstruction.

Christmas Tree and Holiday plants

Pets love to play with the Christmas tree! Be sure to securely place your Christmas tree in a safe location that’s free from tipping over. Where there is water they will drink! Be sure to keep your pets from the water at the base of the tree. Tree water contains fertilizer that can cause your pets to get sick.

Placing a poinsettia, holly or mistletoe around the house? Please place these items in safe location and out of the reach of your pets! These beautiful plants are fun and festive, but will make your pet sick if consumed!


Having guests over? Sometimes new people can make your pet stressed! If you are boarding your animal over the holidays please make sure that they are adequately vaccinated to protect them from diseases. Bring your pets bedding and own food to make their stay calm and relaxing.


Giving a new kitty or puppy as a gift is exciting, however please make sure that the person you are gifting is ready for the care and needs of a new pet. Pets need a lot of love and care and are a big responsibility.

Food and leftovers

Pass on giving your pets tasty desserts, and leftovers that are fatty and contain bones! Consuming too much chocolate and fatty food will make your dog sick!

Dressing up!

Before you place that cute new pet sweater on, make sure your pet isn’t allergic to wool!

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Welcome to “Animal Prints

We are proud to introduce Nassau Animal Hospital’s new blog! This blog is an exciting new experience for our team. You can expect to find useful information, relating to your pet’s healthcare.

We will be covering topics including common diseases, nutrition, useful tips, facts, and services we provide.

As you can see, we are shaking things up around NAH! We’ve updated our website, making it easier to find important information.  Dr. Garruba and our amazing team of highly skilled veterinarians and caring staff are prepared to assist your pets!

If you’re not a client of Nassau Animal Hospital, please schedule an appointment today and get to know us! Your first wellness check is FREE with any vaccination!

As always, feedback, suggestions and referrals are welcomed and appreciated.


Try this nice Fall Recipe and shower your best buddy with love by making some delicious, healthy Blueberry Pumpkin Dog Treats.  

Recipe via the Vegan Heartland



½ cup applesauce

½ cup canned pumpkin

2 cups 100% whole-wheat flour

½ cup flax seed meal

½ cup blueberries

½ cup water

Cooking Instructions: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1

Blend the applesauce and pumpkin, in a bowl. Stir in the flour and flax seed meal. Next, add the water and stir. Work the ingredients together with your hands until all have become well incorporated.

Step 2

Roll out into ½ inch thickens and cut into your desired shapes

Step 3

Place treats 1-inch apart on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Press blueberries into your treats (as shown in the picture)

Step 4

Bake the treats for 20 minutes on one-side and then turn them over and bake on the other side for an additional 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Allow treats to cool.