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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Why Preventive Health Care for Pets Is Important 

health care for pets
Health Care for Pets – Why Pet Preventive Care Matters
Health care for pets, including pet preventive care, matters a great deal to  companion animals. Your family pet’s health care plan should incorporate regular  check-ups, pet dental care, and grooming to keep them looking and feeling their  best. Good pet preventive care helps maximize our faithful companions’ health,  wellness, and quality of life, which is what every pet parent wants for their furry  friends.
Like people, dogs are living longer. And like people, dogs are at risk for developing  age-related illnesses and issues like arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease,  and cancer. Regular pet preventive care helps your vet identify your pet’s particular  risk factors – whether it’s age, lifestyle, weight, or genetics, and quickly get on top of  any problem. Early detection of disease and intervention allows you and your vet to  decide the best course of care for your pet.
Pet preventive care often includes lifestyle and/or dietary changes and may  incorporate medication, especially as your pet ages and risk factors increase. Cats are often overlooked for preventive care, but they need regular wellness checks, too!  Your veterinarian will likely recommend annual wellness programs for your pet,  including routine blood work to monitor for potential problems. Some pets may  require more frequent veterinary health checks depending on their age and overall  condition. Naturally, older pets should see the vet more frequently.

Creating a Family Pet Health Care Plan 
The core of your pet’s preventive care plan should include complete wellness exams  by a veterinary professional. According to the ​Merck Veterinary Manual​,
“​Adult dogs​ should have a complete veterinary examination at least once a year.  Puppies need veterinary visits usually every 3 to 4 weeks until they are about 4  months old. Geriatric dogs (older than 7 to 8 years old) should see their veterinarian  twice a year or more frequently because illness is more common in older pets, and it  can be identified sooner.​”
“​Adult cats ​should have a complete veterinary examination at least once a year.  Kittens need veterinary visits usually every 3 to 4 weeks until they are about 4  months old. Geriatric cats (older than 8 to 9 years old) should see their veterinarian  twice a year or more frequently because illness is more common in older pets, and  should be identified sooner to provide proper treatment.”

Key Tips for Pet Preventive Care  
Your veterinarian will recommend timelines for your pet’s core vaccines and dental  care. Routine veterinary preventive care for your pets should include the following  items, as well as any additional health screens recommended by your veterinarian,  tailored for your pet’s specific needs.
● Vaccinations
● Parasite control
● Dental care
● Grooming
● Stool screening
● Bloodwork
● Heartworm testing

Finally, if you have questions about preventive pet care or your cat or dog’s health,  give your vet a call. Don’t have a regular vet? AZPetVet has 21 convenient locations  around the Valley. Find an AZPetVet location near you ​here​.

[Disclaimer]
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or  treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may  have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a  medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary  emergency hospital immediately.  

Pets’ Mental Health & Pet Stress Relief

We Prescribe Exercise – the Natural Stress Relief for Pets

When it comes to pets and mental health –– OK, pets and physical health, too –– we prescribe exercise, the natural stress relief for pets. Yes, we all know we should exercise, but the same is true for pets. Low activity levels lead to boredom, feelings of loneliness, weight gain, and possible mental health and behavior issues for your pet (the same is true for humans). Luckily, the solution is usually simple. Get up, and go outside for a walk together. Don’t just wait and put it off or we assure you the results won’t be good. 

For pets’ mental health, the #1 enemy is boredom. We’ve all seen funny videos of pet parents coming home to a giant mess while the pets (usually dogs) make a big production of looking innocent. Who chewed the couch cushions? Who ate my new shoes/the remote/the pillow? Who got into the trash? Who did this? Who, indeed. Idle paws are the devil’s workshop! 

Pets that get destructive or develop behavior problems are often acting out of sheer boredom and loneliness to release stress while unconsciously causing more of it. Attention seeking behaviors like pawing, jumping, whining, and barking are also telltale signs that your pet’s mental and physical health needs to be addressed. 

Think about it. Pets are often home alone for a large part of the day. Of course, now that more of us are working at home, pets are trying their best to ‘help,’ begging to get your attention or for treats while you’re trying to work. Add kids, and oh, boy–stress galore for everyone.

Feeling stressed is universal these days, and our stress can spill over to affect pets. Our faithful furry friends know our every mood, and they only want to please us, so when we’re down, they’re going to feel down, too. So, remember, healthy pet parents, make for healthy pets. Exercise relieves stress and improves mental health. Pet exercise, such as a daily walk or playtime, provides natural stress relief for pets, and people, too. The mental stimulation means pets are far more likely to stay out of trouble (and the trash can). Exercise or playtime spent with your pet is pawsitive and fun, rather than based on “no, stop that,” or “go lay down,” so everyone feels happier. Plus, you never know, you might meet some new friends along the way!

Still not sure? January is National Walk Your Pet Month, and the weather is beautiful around this time, so no excuses. Walking is good stress relief. Make it a goal – get up, grab the leash, and go on an adventure. It’s good for your heart and your pet’s heart, too. So, head outside and stretch those muscles and joints. Burn off some excess energy and fat with your pet! There’s no better stress relief than watching your pup’s eager interest in new sights, smells and sounds, and their wagging tail.

 

[DISCLAIMER]

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Get Ready for National Dress Up Your Pet Day

national dress up your pet day

Celebrating National Dress Your Pet Day

It’s that time! Thursday, January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day, and yes, there is a day for that! So get out those silly sweaters and cool costumes and get ready to dress your pet to impress!

National Dress Up Your Pet Day was introduced in 2009 by celebrity pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Paige. It’s meant to celebrate the wondrous gift of pets and helps to support the pet fashion community–yes, that’s a thing too!

If you’re having trouble picking out the perfect ensemble, check out these suggestions we shared during the last dress up your pet day. Just remember, dressing up your pet is fun but has the potential to be dangerous if you’re not careful. PetFirst shared these outfit and costume safety tips and strategies to help guide you through the holiday:

  • Be aware of choking hazards – Play it safe. Detach any loose pieces, check for buttons, decorative flowers, and any other small parts that could easily come off and be swallowed. Please don’t leave your pet unattended while they’re dressed up. 
  • Consider your pet’s age – Avoid dressing up very young or elderly pets. Puppies and kittens are more likely to chew on the costumes. Older animals may be suffering from joint stiffness or other health issues, making it a challenge to get them in and out of clothing. 
  • Be flexible – What you envision may turn out to be completely different from what your pet allows. Please don’t force your pet into anything, or they will be miserable. Be willing to shift some things around, removing pieces your pet finds uncomfortable. 
  • Conduct a trial run – If you’re looking to show off your pet on your morning walk or zoom call, test it out in advance. A trial run gives you a chance to determine how your pet feels about their new attire and allows you some time to tweak as necessary. Remember to reward with treats to make the clothing experience more positive. 

Alternatives to Clothes

Maybe your pet’s not a fan of clothes. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean you’re out of luck on celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day. Instead, add some fun fashion flair or cute accents to your pet’s wardrobe:

  • Bandanas
  • Bow Ties
  • Fancy Harness
  • Decorative Collar
  • Collar Accessories
  • Other Accessories

We want you to go ALL out and want to see all of the different ways you choose to celebrate the day. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Have a friend or family member take photos of you and your pet in their fun outfit – yes, a pet photoshoot!
  2. Use #DressUpYourPetDay on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Celebrate by dressing up your pet in comfortable pet clothing – maybe even pick out matching outfits if you’re feeling wild – and share it for the world to see! If pets have taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks… so matching outfits are not only welcomed but encouraged! Silly as some of these holidays may seem, National Dress Up Your Pet Day is the perfect excuse to spend some quality time with your pet (as if we need a reason!). 

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Make With Your Pet

New Year's Resolutions

Ten Fun New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners and Pets

We learn so much from our pets every day. So, what if we started thinking about those daily life lessons as resolutions that we can carry into the New Year? Easy! Start by thinking up a list of New Year’s resolutions for your pets. Then, take that list and think about how to turn it into New Year’s resolutions for pet owners, too! 

Now, we don’t mean that you, as a pet owner, should make it a New Year’s resolution to stop digging through the trash (unless that’s something you need to stop doing).  What we mean is that a new year is a perfect time for self-reflection and positive change, and there is nobody better to have by your side or more supportive of your goals than your beloved furry companion.

Here’s a list of some simple resolutions that guarantee you a healthy and happy New Year with your pets:

Resolution #1: Make New Friends. 

The best life lesson you can learn from a pet is that a person’s background plays no part in whether or not they’ll make great, lifelong friends. Be social while remaining safe and socially distant, and expand both your and your pet’s social network. Get some fresh air, hit the dog park, head out for a hike. You never know who you’ll meet along the way. 

Resolution #2: Say Sorry. 

Maybe this is more of a New Year’s resolution for pet owners but it’s relevant nonetheless. The best way to right our wrongs is with a heartfelt apology. It’s easy to be headstrong, but it’s easier to own up to our errors and make amends as necessary. When things get a little tense on the road, or you’ve had a rough day at work, say sorry. And when your pet goes to lift his leg on the furniture or carries your favorite shoes outside, he’ll look up at you with round, sweet eyes and do the same. 

Resolution #3: Exercise.

Boredom combined with excess energy leads to bad choices for people and pets. Exercising is guaranteed to be less boring with a friend–a four-legged one to be exact. It’s easy to categorize exercise as a chore, but regardless, it’s good for the mind, body, and soul and can make a world of difference to our outlook in 2021.

Resolution #4: Be Carefree. 

Maybe your pet runs a little funny, or rolls around outside until he’s covered in grass, or plops his legs out behind him like a goofball when he lays down but does any of that slow him down? If pets have taught us anything it’s that it’s okay to be unapologetically ourselves, that letting loose and living in the moment is the fastest route to loving life.

Resolution #5: Nap Often. 

Naps are the best way to refresh yourself and clear your mind. There’s absolutely no shame in a cat nap…why do you think your cats are always so relaxed? Because they give their minds and bodies the time that it needs to unplug, unwind, and just veg out a little. Enjoy a nice, quiet night in on New Year’s Eve with your pets and catch up on some much-needed sleep! [Your cat approves this message.]

Resolution #6: Change Perspectives.

It never hurts to look at things from a different angle. Seeing things in a new way might open up your mind in ways you didn’t know you needed. Grab your pup pal or feline friend and lay down, hang your head off the end of the couch, even stick your tongue out if it feels right, and just look at things from a new perspective. 

Resolution #7: Smile Often.

This is best done as a team. After all, there’s really nobody better at making you smile than your pet and vice versa, nobody makes your pet happier than you. Ring in the New Year with your pets and spend some extra time enjoying the little things with your littles, be they people or pets. 

Resolution #8: Up Your Social Media Game.

This isn’t just a great excuse to share a happy New Year pet photo but it’s another great way to expand your network and a chance to enjoy some downtime with your furry friends. Pet-stagrams are a hit so we say go for it. You want to show them off, they want to show off, and we definitely want to see them – so what’s stopping you from treating us to some sweet pics on social media in 2021? Get ‘gramming!

Resolution #9: Learn Something New.

A new year is the best time to pick up a new hobby or learn something new. Get crafty in 2021, take on new DIY projects, do some much-needed home repairs, try out some new baking recipes for your pet. Impress them with some homemade treats then use them to reward your pets for learning some new tricks or commands. It’s a good year to try some things outside of your comfort zone. 

Resolution #10: Give and Take.

This seems to come so easily for our pets but we, too, must remember the importance of giving. Express gratitude for those around us whether it’s in words or acts of kindness. And just a reminder to the pets out there: if you want a treat, you give a kiss. We don’t make the rules. 

Nothing guarantees a happy New Year with pets like setting goals for yourself along with some funny pet New Year’s resolutions. There’s no telling what the future holds but after a wild year, everyone deserves to make some plans they can look forward to and set some goals they know they can achieve in 2021!