Happy Friday! We are back with anther zen local veterinarian feature, this time in the Clairemont area with Dr. Hardy of Lifetime Animal Care Center.

Dr Hardy has been a veterinarian for 36 years. He currently live in Scripps Ranch with his wife, Margaret. They share their home with their 18 pound cat, Pliny. His interest in animals began when he was growing up in Wisconsin.  His family had a menagerie of chickens, ducks, dogs, cats and horses, but his real respect for animal developed during the many summers he spent on his uncle’s dairy farm.  Working with the cows and calves and seeing how well they were treated and cared for made him want to somehow be involved with animals.  He moved to California after high school and eventually received his degree in veterinary medicine from the University of California, Davis. He felt he owed something to the Wisconsin dairy industry for establishing his interest in animals and moved back there to work as a dairy vet. 

After four years, his wife Margaret and he decided that California had more opportunities for their family than Wisconsin, so they returned, moving to San Diego in 1984. He purchased Lifetime Animal Care Center, then called Clairemont Square Veterinary Clinic, in 1986. They started with one doctor and two veterinary assistants. Since then, through the overwhelming support of their clients, they have been able to expand the hospital and have grown tremendously.

What he enjoys most is getting to know his clients, seeing what their pets mean to them and how they bring quality to each others' lives. He enjoys helping the pets in any way he can to make their lives, and the lives of their owners, more comfortable.

 What  are the top 3 questions to ask when deciding on a veterinarian? 

"First, I would try to meet the doctor and get a tour of the hospital.  Be aware of cleanliness, odors, and have them show you the medical equipment used (i.e. Are they using updated equipment such as digital x-rays, digital dental x-rays, ultrasound?)  Secondly, ask how often pets should be seen for routine, healthy checkups.  Finally, ask how important the doctor believes nutrition & diet is for the health of your pet."

 What’s the most common question you receive from an animal’s owner?

"That’s a hard one to narrow down, but I guess it would be “What and how often should I feed my pet?”  That indicates to me that owners are concerned about what they can do at home to maintain the health of their pets."

What is the most common reason an animal comes to see you?

"It’s for annual wellness checkups.  Again, that indicates the owner’s concern for the well-being of their pet."


What is your favorite breed of dog and why?

"I don’t think I have a favorite breed.  I really like them all.  The more important thing for me is that they are well socialized, well behaved and friendly."

How often should you bathe your dog?

"Basically, you should bathe your dog as needed.  Perhaps monthly for a dog with healthy skin, all the way to every 1-2 days for a dog with medical conditions."

 What is your number one piece of advice to give a client when getting a brand new puppy?

Have them checked out by a veterinarian to ensure they are healthy, properly vaccinated & dewormed.  And make sure they are socialized with other dogs and people – including puppy classes.  The basic socialization period for puppies is between 4 weeks and 4-5 months old so don’t delay.  A good website to check out is www.indoorpet.osu.edu. 

A big thank you to Dr. Hardy, Dana the Hospital Manager, and the team at Lifetime Animal Care Center, for agreeing to participate in our second zen veterinarian blog feature! For more information please check out their website