UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State University Police K-9 Unit recently participated in a free canine wellness training hosted by Metzger Animal Hospital in State College.
Officer Josh Quimby, handler for K-9 Wail; Officer Phil Peng, handler for K-9 Roni; and Officer Dustin Miller, handler for K-9 Rudie, participated in the training alongside K-9 units with the Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Capitol Police.
The one-day training included instruction on overall canine wellness, first aid treatments for working dogs, CPR training, injury recognition, flea and tick prevention, proper diet and canine stretches that are best before beginning work.
All handlers receive basic K-9 first aid training during a broader handler training program. The seminar at Metzger Animal Hospital addressed overall canine health, including how to look for signs of common illnesses and ailments as well as disease prevention and regular wellness checks.
“With the high drive that our dogs have, they mask any signs or symptoms very well, because all they want to do is work. By the time they start showing those signs or symptoms of a health issue, it’s often too late,” Quimby said. “Our dogs are not only our partners, they are our family pets. They work with us and go home with us. This program is helping us to learn how to foster our dogs’ health so that they can live longer, healthier lives.”
Quimby helped organize the training with Dr. Fred Metzger after Metzger expressed interest in assisting law enforcement with maintaining the health of police dogs.
“We were honored to share our expertise with K-9 units from across Pennsylvania because we recognize the important work these units do every day to support public safety in our communities,” Metzger said.
Metzger led the course with Dr. Robert Rider and veterinarian technicians Jennifer Wasson, Ashlee Snyder and Jessica Hess. Metzger also has offered to perform free routine blood work on all K-9 participants and review the results with handlers.
“A blood profile and urinalysis will create baseline data on the dogs, which is an important step in maintaining long-term health,” Metzger said.