Jenn Pet Vet's Blog

My trip to the Philadelphia Zoo/Why I love being a Veterinarian February 27, 2012


Today I visited the Philadelphia Zoo and the experience was absolutely amazing!  I had such a wonderful time … this may have been one of the coolest things I’ve ever done with animals.  Words can’t do justice for this blog post, but never fear, the photos are better than anything I could ever write.

Because of this unique experience, I made a donation to the Philadelphia Zoo.  Please consider joining me and make your own donation – you can even “adopt” one of the animals for your own special day.


Whiskey Rebellion – for Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) February 20, 2012

Help support STAR and come out for the Whiskey Rebellion!


While I won’t be providing any veterinary services at this event, I would love if you could come out to join me in an evening of eating, drinking, making merry, AND more importantly – raising money for Street Tails Animal Rescue!  You will be able to help dogs like Egg Roll and Wonton find loving homes.  And if you’d like to adopt Egg Roll or Wonton, please fill out an adoption form on STAR’s website.  Both boys are  young adorable and sweet dogs.  They couldn’t get enough belly rubs and they will both agree to snuggle with you for hours on end if you take them home to love them.

Egg Roll


The Whiskey Rebellion will be an evening of Whiskey tasting to benefit Street Tails Animal Rescue. Food pairings will be provided by Mark Tropea Chef and Owner of Sonata Restaurant. Featuring Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky, and Hudson (a New York state, American Whiskey provided by William Grant & Sons).

(c)2012 William Grant & Sons USA Inc. Please enjoy these unique spirits responsibly.



Advanced Tickets Available:
Street Tails Adoption Center, 1030 N. 2nd Street #401,
Sonata Restaurant, 1030 N. American Street
Philadelphia Eddies Chinatown Tattoo, 409 Arch Street

Tickets $30. or 2 for $50.


Items up for Raffle donated by, The Chic Petique, Delicious Corsets, Ploome Fitness, DNA Salon, Tattooed Moms, Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo, and more…


A special thanks to my friends at D’Agostini Liquor Store in Mantua, New Jersey for letting me rearrange their whole whiskey shelf and take photos in their store.  Please check out their store and their Facebook page.



~ peace, love, and plenty of tail wags


Dental Month – it’s not too late February 17, 2012

Skookum, my Dogue de Bordeaux enjoying his antler

February is dental month for pets.  Taking care of your pet’s teeth is very important because excessive tartar can lead to gum disease.  And where there is gum disease there are bacteria.  The bacteria associated with dental disease can lead to infected teeth (abscessed teeth) which are very painful and these teeth then have to be extracted.  The bacteria can also spread to other places in the body  –  especially the heart, kidneys, and liver.  That’s why paying proper attention to your pet’s teeth through brushing, and having a professional dental cleaning performed when there is a problem, is so important.  Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy helps to keep them healthy overall.

Petunia, my Bullmastiff chowing down on some natural food

Proper nutrition is a very important way to care for your pet’s teeth.  And that doesn’t mean feeding kibble.  Contrary to popular belief, feeding the kibble-type food does not prevent dental disease.  I see plenty of animals that eat only kibble that have horrible teeth.  I recommend feeding a high quality diet like the ones I mentioned in my post about Daminger’s Natural Pet Foods.  Or even better, if you are feeding kibble, add some fresh food into their diet.  I love the recipes in Richard Pitcairn’s Book: Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats.  He has some great recipes in there for fresh food to add on top of kibble.

There are some other ways besides fresh food to help dental health. Dogs like to chew as part of their natural behavior. The veterinary dentists do not like giving dogs hard objects to chew on as it is possible for them to fracture teeth; however, I’ve decided to take that risk and let my dog’s natural instincts serve as my guide. Raw meaty bones are the most natural choice for dogs to keep their teeth health. If you don’t like the mess of a raw bone, antlers are also terrific. If you’d like to avoid hard chewing objects altogether, my favorite natural dental products come from AromaDog/AromaCat: Bluto’s Yummy Gum Brush for the dogs and Peppermint Catty’s Purrly Whites for the cats are great for tooth brushing.

Some of the wonderful dental products at Cutter's Mill

If you are looking for the perfect place to find an antler for your pooch, come visit me this Sunday.  On Sunday, February 26th, I will be at Cutter’s Mill in Cherry Hill from 12 noon until 3:00.  I will be doing free dental exams and giving out dental health goodie bags (while supplies last).  I’ll also be doing free mani/pedis for those pets that need some extra pampering.  And last, but not least, I will be doing low cost microchipping: for $40 you get a lifelong registration. ~ peace, love, and plenty of tail wags


Valentine’s Day – A Love Story February 14, 2012

Filed under: Rescue Groups — Jennifer Forsyth, VMD @ 10:30 am
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Macy eating her Valentine's Day Pupcake


Foreword (AKA more of Dr. Forsyth’s philosophies): Valentine’s Day is all about love.  And I’m sure some of you out there haven’t bought anything for your sweetheart yet.  Here is my suggestion to all of you last minute shoppers: give some love to a homeless dog or cat!  Just think of how awesome you will be when you come home with a dog or cat that just needed a home … just needed some love.  You would be the best boyfriend or girlfriend ever!  And if you can’t adopt, forget about the cliché dozen roses and/or bottle of champagne.  Give your sweetie a card with a message about how you love them so much that you just couldn’t spend $50 on roses that would be dead in a week or bubbly that would be gone in an hour, but instead donated that money to an animal rescue to help give a pet some love.  Please join me in donating $50 today to Street Tails Animal Rescue (you can use the STAR logo over to the right) or your own local rescue group.  


After making my pupcakes this past Sunday, I packed up the extras and headed over to Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) to “feed the homeless.”   They had a table set up for children to make Valentine’s Day cards for the dogs in the rescue.  And I let the kids feed each rescue dog a Valentine’s Day pupcake … it was unbelievably cute!

Making Valentine's Day cards at STAR


So onto the love story that you’ve all been waiting for…

Peter and Teeny - what a cute couple


Peter and his main squeeze, Teeny, are a bonded pair of beagles.  They were adopted together 7 years ago and had a loving home up until several weeks ago when their owner passed away.  Peter is a very cool dog.  He is the more outgoing of the pair and he is super gentle.  He loves to snuggle and sit in your lap to be petted.  Teeny is a little more shy, but still a sweetie.  My wish for Valentine’s Day is that this cute couple find their forever home where they will have a warm bed to sleep in every night, yummy food to eat, and most importantly – love.


I think this Valentine’s Day card (the smaller one in the corner) that was made by one of the kids at STAR this past Sunday says it all:


I’m beggin’ you to be mine! Woof

Valentine's Day card for Teeny at STAR


Valentine’s Day Devil’s Food Pupcakes February 12, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Jennifer Forsyth, VMD @ 11:34 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Valentine's Day Devil's Food Pupcakes


Love is in the air – Valentine’s Day is only two days away. And I want to pamper my pooches with one of their favorite things … Food!  So today I’m making Valentine’s Day Devil’s Food Pupcakes.  Normally Valentine’s Day revolves around chocolate and Devil’s Food Cake is made with cocoa powder.  But chocolate is toxic to dogs, so I substituted the cocoa powder for dog friendly ingredient – carob powder.



Ingredients for 18 Pupcakes


1/2 cup organic carob powder

1/2 cup hot water

2 1/4 cups organic spelt or whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4  teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

3/4 teaspoons pink Himalayan sea salt

1 cup (2 sticks) organic unsalted butter

1 cup organic honey

3 large organic eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup organic sour cream, room temperature

Organic Yogurt Frosting *

Organic strawberries, for decorating (optional)


*For yogurt frosting, I strain one 32 ounce container of organic plain nonfat yogurt through a very fine sieve or cheese cloth overnight. If you don’t have time or forget, you can use room temperature cream cheese.




Petunia enjoying her pupcake



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together carob powder and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


Melt butter with honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then carob mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.


Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.


To finish, decorate the pupcakes with yogurt frosting.

Margaux says "Bonne Saint Valentin"


Daminger’s – A Natural Pet Foods Store February 8, 2012

Some of the dry foods found at Daminger's


I cannot stress enough just how important good food is to the health of a pet. I’ll admit, I used to provide average-quality food to my dogs when I was in vet school and for a year or so afterwards. But then my dog Lily decided she wasn’t going to eat it anymore while I was visiting family in New York. I ended up stopping in a pet store that carried natural foods. When I asked for something like my current brand they were quick to inform me that I didn’t want that kind of food and they gave me a bag of Wellness. This new food didn’t contain artificial colors, preservatives like BHT/BHA, or animal by-products; but it did contain some ingredients that were very different for me like blueberries and flax seeds AND my dogs loved it!


After I arrived back home in my small southern New Jersey town, I began to worry that I wouldn’t be able to find my dogs’ new favorite healthy food. You can imagine my surprise when the store locator from Wellness’s website sent me only 3 miles down the road to Daminger’s

The canned food display at Daminger's


Daminger’s is the quintessential country store with it’s wooden floors, painted shelves, and old-fashioned charm. It is currently owned by Ken Daminger and Tom Mariner, two of the friendliest and most helpful guys you’ll ever meet.  Daminger’s was started back in 1929 by Ken’s grandfather and they have been providing love through nutrition even since.


There are so many wonderful foods there; I won’t be able to cover them all but I’ll give you some of my favorite categories.


For the fussy eater: ZiWi Peak is a food in it’s own category as it is a jerky style food. I have a lot of success with small breed dogs accepting this food. Health Extension Little Bites, an organic chicken based food, is also an excellent choice for the little guys that don’t like big kibbles.  Merrick, Nature’s Variety (Homestyle), and Tiki Dog/Tiki Cat are canned foods that look like real food. These are good choices for pets that will only eat table food.  Nature’s Variety also makes a freeze dried powder called Raw Boost that can be used to make a delicious gravy to help get Fido back to his bowl.

Merrick (Campfire Trout Feast ) and Nature's Variety (Homestyle Chicken Stew)


Grain-free foods are a good option for dogs that have allergies, as many times grains (especially corn, wheat, and soy) can contribute to creating inflammation. NutriSource is unique in that they use pea fiber (instead of potatoes).  Petcurean makes Now which is their grain free formula and they use only the freshest human grade quality ingredients.  And for completely starch free, Wysong makes Epigen.


Daminger’s also carries frozen raw food which is one of the things that I personally feed to my pack. They have Primal, Nature’s Variety, and Rad Cat stocked in their freezer.  For those not ready to take the raw plunge, there are options between raw and kibble like dehydrated foods (NRG), freeze dried foods (Stella & Chewys and Nature’s Variety Raw Boost), and refrigerated food (DeliFresh).


Let’s face it, economic times are tough right now, and Daminger’s carries something for every budget.  The chicken formula for both Canidae and Verus are less than $30 for a 30 pound bag. And for those that want to go organic, ProNature’s wild caught Atlantic  salmon formula is less than $50 for a 30 pound bag.




Post Script (AKA Dr. Forsyth’s philosophies) – We personally create the type of community that we want to live in. Our neighborhoods are their own web of life. When we shop at a small family owned business, instead of a big box store, we are investing in our community and ourselves. 


How to bake a healthy dog birthday cake February 2, 2012

Margaux's Adoption Day Celebration (1 year)

A year ago today I met Margaux.  I was called by the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America rescue about a dog that was at the Gloucester County Animal Shelter.  They wanted a veterinarian to evaluate her as far a health and temperament.  She was picked up by Animal Control after the police were called because she was trying to escape the winter’s cold by attempting to enter an apartment building.  When I met her she was shy but so sweet – my husband and I fell in love.  She needed a bath, eye surgery, and more importantly a warm loving home.  So today I am celebrating Margaux’s adoption day by baking her a birthday cake.


Ingredients for a natural dog birthday cake

* 3 cups organic spelt flour
* 1 Tbl aluminum free baking powder
* 1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, softened
* 6 organic free-range eggs, beaten
* 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
* 2 jars organic turkey baby food
* 2 cups finely shredded organic carrots
* 2 32 ounce containers organic plain nonfat yogurt (strained overnight through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer)

Notes about ingredients: I used spelt flour instead of wheat flour because it is a healthier choice, but you could use white flour or whole wheat flour.  I used melted coconut oil instead of canola oil to make this recipe healthier, but feel free to substitute oils if desired.  If you forget, or don’t have time to strain yogurt, you can use cream cheese, but I like getting the probiotic benefit from the yogurt.

Generously grease and flour two 8″ round cake pans; set aside. Combine flour and baking powder; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter until smooth. Add eggs and coconut oil; mix well. Add baby food and shredded carrots and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into the 2 prepared 8″ cake pans. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Healthy Organic Dog Birthday Cake

Place one layer on a serving plate and spread yogurt over top. Place second layer on top, then spread yogurt on top and sides of entire cake.  Use Plato Thinker sticks for candles.

I’m donating $100 in honor of Margaux today, please consider joining me in making a donation to the Dogue de Bordeaux rescue.




Just in case you are wondering the star cookies are from Wet Noses and the round cookies are from Barkwheats.


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