Dr. Jason Nicholas (Dr. J)

dr jason nicholas
As President and Chief Medical Officer of Preventive Vet, Dr. J is a man on a mission. He’s a dog-and-cat lover, husband, father of two and former ER and general practice veterinarian obsessed with keeping your pets safe, healthy and out of harm’s way. Just like Preventive Vet, the pet-expert collective he founded in 2011, Dr. J strives for a world where all pet owners are empowered to keep their pets happy, healthy and free from preventable suffering.
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Recent Posts

Puppy Shots—What Vaccines Your New Pup Needs (and When)


Is it time to go to the dog park, or take a puppy class?

The places your new puppy is allowed to go and the other pups and people they can meet along the way is influenced, in part, by what vaccines they’ve had. So we've put together this overview of the "shots" (vaccinations) that puppies should have during their first several months of life, as well as the "why" and "when." Take a peek to and discuss with your veterinarian to ensure that your new pup is as protected as they can be from the conditions that can sicken or otherwise cause them (or even you) harm. 

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppies, Socialization, Vaccines, Vaccination, Vet Exam

How to Find the Right Dog Walker


Choosing a Dog Walker

There are a lot of great reasons to hire a dog walker. Maybe you recently adopted a new puppy or an older dog, and you want to make sure they get the potty breaks they need. Maybe your schedule has changed, perhaps you just had a baby or it’s busy season at work, and you can’t take your dog out as often as you used to. Or maybe you’ve noticed some behavioral issues, and believe your dog will benefit from some extra exercise and stimulation. Whatever your reason, finding the right dog walker can make a wonderful difference in your dog’s life, and in yours. So here are some tips on finding dog walkers, and on the questions you should ask to ensure that you’re choosing the best dog walker for your pup and your situation.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Walking

Anal Glands—Why Dogs Have Them & What To Do When They're A Problem


Does your dog have problems with their anal glands?

Unfortunately lots of dogs have problems with their anal glands. Some anal gland impactions get so bad that they become abscessed and rupture, causing pain for the dog, and quite a nasty mess for their people (as well as the costs associated with having the infection and abscess treated). So if anal glands are such a pain in the butt—both literally and figuratively—why do dogs have them and what can you do to help your dog if they suffer from regular anal gland problems?

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Topics: Dog Health, Dog DIet, Dog Behavior, Anal Glands

Fast Food for Pets!—For When You Run Out of Dog or Cat Food


Ever run out of pet food and not know what to do?

While this seems like an obvious thing NOT to do, we've all had a close encounter of some kind, right?

I often see dogs and cats, who come in for a visit, for this very reason—because they're not feeling too well!

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Cat Diet, Dog DIet, Dog Food, Cat food

Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Dog—The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Safe Chew Toys: Important things to know and consider

Your dog is going to chew… it’s just a part of being a dog. And it’s actually quite an important part, too! Whether they’re a young puppy going through their teething period or exploring their new world, or an adult dog chewing to pass the time, keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, or keep their teeth clean… all dogs need to chew.

Because chewing is good for your dog’s mental and physical health, it’s important that you provide them with plenty of things to chew on. Fail to do so and they’ll come up with their own chew “toys”… which often wind up being your most expensive pair of shoes, the legs of your dining room chairs, the nearest electric cord, or even your own arm! None of which are desirable, and several of which are downright unsafe, too!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Puppies, Breathing problems, Dog toys

Rodenticide Poisoning In Cats & Dogs—Why The Type Matters


Not all rat and mouse poisons kill the same way

Many cats and dogs are brought into veterinary hospitals in the fall and winter after having gotten into a rat/mouse poison (“rodenticides”). After all, this is a common time of year for rats and mice to try and seek shelter in people’s homes and businesses, so it’s a common time of year for people to be putting out rat and mouse poisons.

While most people know that rat and mouse poisons are dangerous for cats and dogs, what many people don’t realize is that not all rodenticides work (kill) the same way. Because of this, it’s vitally important that you pay attention to what you and your neighbors are putting in and around your homes, and that the veterinary staff or the people at animal poison control are told (or better still, shown) which rodenticide your pet got into if exposure happens.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, toxicity, Poison control, Blog, Outdoor cats, Dogs Outdoors

How to Figure Out Which Dog is Having Diarrhea or Pooping in Your House


Whose poop is this anyway...

If you've got more than one dog (or cat) at home, odds are good that you've been faced with the "whose poop is this?" question at some point. Right? Whether you're needing to know because someone is having diarrhea, or because one of them is pooping on your carpets, figuring out which pet is having "bowel problems" is always the first step to figuring out why.

Fortunately there's a quick and easy trick to help you figure out whose is whose, and it involves something that you likely have in your home right now (or can very easily, and inexpensively, grab at the store)... crayons!

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Topics: Dog Health, Dog, Blog, Crayon Shavings, Arthritis in dogs, Diarrhea, Multi-dog household, Bowel issues

Safer Cleaning Products For Your Pets


Choosing cleaning products when you have pets

It has been said that cleaning a house with pets is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos — both are fruitless endeavors. That said, it’s still important to do (the first one, that is)—at least every now and again, especially because you do have pets. 

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety, Respiratory problems, Dog-friendly products, Cat-friendly products

Changing Your Pet's Food— It Should Be Done Gradually!


Out with the old (food)... in with the new!

There are several reasons to change your pet’s food – dietary recommendations, changing nutritional needs, product discontinuations, price changes, etc. But sometimes your furry little gobbler doesn’t appreciate the change of menu, or their intestines don’t! So here’s a great way to help ensure that the new food is accepted and that it doesn’t wind up “on your carpets.”

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Dog Food, Diarrhea, Pet Diet, Pet food, Cat food

Think Twice About Letting Your Dog or Cat Free-Feed


Grazing...Good or Bad?

Many dog and cat owners find it convenient to keep their pet’s food bowl filled and accessible so their little friend can eat whenever they want. Unfortunately, while this may be convenient (in the short term), it's actually a bad practice that deprives people of important opportunities to mentally stimulate their pets, monitor their health and comfort, and can even lead to the development of some significant, costly, and quite inconvenient medical or behavioral conditions. So while "free feeding" may seem like a good way to feed pets in today's hectic lifestyles, doing so can actually cost you more time (and money) than the preferable alternative of meal feeding. Read on to see why.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Obesity, Diabetes, Dog Food, Cat food

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.