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Best Places to Walk Your Pets in Phoenix

It’s Walk With Your Pet month! Happily, winters in Phoenix are mild, so there are lots of opportunities to get outside with your pet to enjoy the day. Here are some of the best places to take a walk with your pet:

Get out and explore your neighborhood! Take a walk together before or after work. No doubt you’ll meet neighbors and their pets, too! Be sure to keep close watch on your pooch when they’re meeting other pets for the first time.

Take a trip to the dog park! Phoenix has a wide range of off leash dog parks where your pooch can romp and play with new friends. You’ll meet some great people, too! Dog Parks in Phoenix

Take a hike with your pooch! Here’s a great list of hiking spots prepared by avid hikers who love to take their pets along. Great Dog Friendly Phoenix Hikes

Visit Phoenix has a wonderful list of dog friendly parks, restaurants and trails

No matter where you choose to go or what you choose to do, spending quality time walking your pet is good for everyone. Get outside and enjoy the day!

New Year Pet Health Check-Up

It’s a fresh new year, so it’s the perfect time to do a little new year pet health check-up on all things related to your pets. The theme is clean, clear and up-to-date, so let’s dig into our new year’s pet health check-up list!

1/ Schedule an annual check-up. Annual wellness exams can help prevent chronic health problems like diabetes as well as common communicable diseases. Your pet will be carefully examined from top to tail, including teeth. Pets will receive any needed vaccinations and boosters, plus flea and/or heart worm medications. If it’s been a while since your pet has seen the vet, don’t wait. Make an appointment today!

2/ Clean, Repair or Replace Worn Toys. Take a few minutes to sort through your pet’s toys. While every pet has their favorites, some toys can become choking hazards. Repair or replace anything with torn seams, visible stuffing or that’s just become gross. Some plush toys are washable. Make a habit to regularly wash them along with your pet’s bedding. Dogs also seem to collect old bones and chews. Quietly dispose of any with ragged edges or visible cracks.

3/ Wash & Repair Pet Bedding & Food Bowls. Regular washing of your pet’s bowls, bedding, pillows, blankets and plush toys is a must. Washing bedding and toys can help cut down on irritants and allergens like pet dander, dust and dirt. Use an unscented, pet safe detergent and avoid fabric softeners or other additives. Air dry or use the dryer, but avoid dryer sheets.

4/ Examine, Repair or Replace Collars, Harnesses & Leashes. Take a look at your pet’s collar, harnesses and leashes to make certain they’re in good working order, with no visible signs of wear and tear. Repair or replace if necessary. Now, get outside together and take a good long walk to enjoy the mild weather!

5/ Set Up a Regular Grooming Schedule! Your pet’s fur, teeth and nails can always use a bit of extra attention. Make sure to regularly groom your pets. Whether you bathe and groom them at home or use one of our experienced pet stylists, your pet will look, feel and smell wonderful. Don’t forget to regularly brush their teeth! Your veterinarian or groomer can show you the best techniques and recommend pet-safe products.

6/ Update Pet Tags, Licenses & Registrations. Check your pet’s tags, licenses and microchip registration information to be sure all contact details are correct. If your pet isn’t microchipped, get it done ASAP. Replace any worn or rusted ID tags.

Ready to schedule your pet’s new year pet health check-up? Click here to find an AZPetVet location near you. Happy New Year from the AZPetVet family!

Pets & Fireworks: New Year’s Safety

scared dog hides from fireworksNew Year’s Eve is a time for celebrating, and for many people, this includes setting off fireworks. While most people enjoy the colorful explosions, many pets are frightened, and many will try to escape, largely due to anxiety over the booming, flickering firework shows. With a little planning and preparation, New Year’s Eve can be a safe and enjoyable time for you and your pets. Happy New Year!

Leave your Pets at Home. There are a number of elements that can compromise your pet’s health and safety, from large crowds and discarded trash, bones, and food to loud noises, alcohol, and fireworks. Home is the safest place for your pet.

Create a Safe Haven. Your crate-trained pet will feel much more secure within the confines of their kennel. If that’s not an option, secure your pet into an area where they will be most comfortable, away from the bright flashing lights and noises or any nearby fireworks displays. Many pets will panic at the continuous sound of fireworks and may go to extreme lengths to escape the noise. Some have gone so far as to jump through glass windows, chew through screens, dig under fences, or leap over constructs, following their instincts to flee from the threatening situation.

Get Some Exercise. Spend a portion of the day walking, hiking, and playing so that your pet is tired out by the time all the evening revelries begin.

Lock Up Explosives. If you have personal fireworks, make sure to keep them in a safe location that your pet cannot access. Curious cats and dogs may be tempted by the fancy streamers, decorations, and scents of fireworks. Most fireworks are toxic to pets, containing harmful substances like potassium nitrate, charcoal, sulfur, and coloring agents. If your pet has ingested a firework, contact your vet or emergency animal hotline to get help immediately.

Check ID. Make sure that your pet is wearing their identification tag and that all your contact information is up-to-date. Even inside pets should wear a collar and ID—the loud noises can trigger a flight response that prompts them to escape however they can.

Try the Mozart Effect. Play some soothing classical music to create some comforting background noises for your pet. The music doesn’t need to drown out the fireworks; aim for a distracting and continuous melody at a regular listening volume. If classical music isn’t your forte, try a white noise machine, fan, or television program, all of which can provide a welcome diversion.

Under Pressure. A Thundershirt for your dog or cat may provide some additional relief. A Thundershirt exerts constant pressure on your pet’s torso to help relieve anxiety, much in the same way that swaddling a newborn baby creates a sense of security and comfort.

Enlist Help. If your pet shows extreme anxiety, talk to your vet to find out whether anti-anxiety medications may help them get through the noisy holiday season with minimal stress.

Preventative Care For Cats

We recognize that your pet’s preventative health care can be a bit overwhelming! Preventative medicine plays a crucial role in keeping your furry family member happy and healthy.  Listed below are the most commonly used preventative care practices utilized in our hospital and may be discussed in our upcoming appointment.

Annual Preventative Care Exam
Annual exams are so much more than just vaccines! During the exam, the doctor will assess your pet from nose to tail. The personal attention your pet receives in the appointment allows us to use their current physical condition, the history provided, and our professional experience to formulate recommendations that we believe will help your pet live the best life possible. Many chronic conditions can be caught and managed early when your pet is evaluated on an annual basis. Every stage of life brings a different set of challenges and as your trusted pet care provider, we will be here to help you every step of the way!

Vaccines
We are committed to the long-term wellness of our pet patients. Below are the primary vaccines we recommend depending on the pet’s lifestyle. We will discuss these with you at your pet’s appointment to determine which of these are recommended.

  • FeLV Vaccine – This vaccine is used to protect your pet from feline leukemia, a potentially fatal virus. We will want to run bloodwork the day of your appointment prior to the vaccine being administered to ensure your cat does not already have the virus.
  • FVRCP Vaccine – This vaccine protects your cat against three potentially deadly airborne viruses: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia
  • Rabies Vaccine– A vaccine that is highly recommended due to the risk to people and the disease being very fatal.

Make sure to ask us about our Free Vaccines for Life program which is designed specifically for adult animals.  After a one-time Enrollment fee, your pet’s vaccine costs will be free for the rest of their life. All you must do to keep the benefits going year after year is bring them in for their annual Preventative Care exam! Visit http://www.arizonapetvet.com/free_vaccines.php for more information on our program.

Fecal Testing
A fecal exam detects microscopic parasites found in the stool such as tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms. A yearly test is recommended to allow for proper treatment if needed. Make sure to bring a fecal sample in a bag with you to your pet’s preventative care exam.

Heartworm Testing and Prevention
Heartworm is a preventable parasitic disease in dogs and cats spread by mosquitoes. In the last 3 years, Arizona has seen a significant increase in positive cases throughout the state. There are multiple ways to protect your pet, all of which are much simpler, safer, and more cost-effective than treating the disease if it occurs.  We recommend annual blood testing and monthly prevention to ensure your pet is protected.

Flea/Tick Control
Fleas and ticks are the two most common external parasites found in dogs and cats. They survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats and sometimes people. Flea and tick bites can lead to health problems including constant itching, hair loss (alopecia), hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), as well as infections and transmission of disease. Fleas and Tick prevention is as easy as a monthly flavored treat.

Nutrition
Proper nutrition is a key to keeping your pet happy and healthy! It is estimated that 60% of cats are overweight. Special diets are commonly used to help reduce the risk of conditions such as oral health, urinary related issues such as bladder stones and kidney disease, weight management and much more! There are many options available to you to help your cat companion fight these common ailments.

Dentistry
If you’ve had a whiff of your pets’ breath and said “Eeeewwww!” you’re not alone! Dental disease is one of the most common problems found during a pet’s annual wellness exam.

If left untreated, the bacteria can lead to issues such as gum disease, tooth infection, bone loss, chronic pain and infection of the kidneys, liver and even the heart. Veterinary dental treatment has evolved over the years. It requires general anesthesia so that the teeth can be thoroughly evaluated and cleaned. Dental x-rays are also taken to examine the health of the mouth. Talk with your doctor to see if dental treatment is necessary for your pet!

Annual Blood Work
As soon as possible, we would recommend doing annual blood work as a part of your cat’s preventative care plan. Annual blood work helps detect health problems, so treatment is begun before symptoms worsen. It also helps establish a baseline, which can be helpful in comparison with future testing if your pet becomes ill.

We hope this information clarified some of the things we may discuss in your pets upcoming preventative care appointment. We look forward to seeing you and your furry family member soon!

Grandpaws Pantry: HOLIDAY DONATION DRIVE

Yesterday we announced our holiday donation drive partnership with one wonderful organization; today, we are excited to share the second partnership for this holiday season!

Grandpaws Pantry is another local, grassroots effort focused on collecting and distributing supplies for pets in need. Their strategy is to focus on different needs at rescue organizations or other animal focused organizations within the Phoenix area. They also work with senior centers to get pet supply care packages to seniors and their pets each holiday season.

The mastermind of the whole organization is an 11 year old named Sonya, who has a strong love and passion for helping rescue pets in the community. Sonya and her family actually have a strong relationship with our very own Arrowhead Ranch Animal Hospital, who saved their newly adopted dog Bhaskar many years ago from parvo. From that experience, it left a lasting impression to Sonya to try and do more for the rescued pets and the organizations that help them here in Phoenix. Some of the places she has helped through her charity include a Soldier’s Best Friend, Halo Animal Shelter, Sun City 4 Paws Rescue and Sun Valley Animal Shelter.

The AZPetVet family is working to help collect donations for this wonderful organization. Here are some of the most-needed items from the wish list:
– Collars & Leashes
– Unopened Food (dry and canned)
– Pet Beds (dog and cat)
– Pet Toys (dog and cat)
– Pet Blankets
– Food Bowls
– Nylabone Dog Treats
– Litter Boxes and Scoopers
– Cat Litter

WE WILL BE COLLECTING DONATIONS THROUGH 12/31/2018 AT THESE AZPetVet LOCATIONS:

Arrowhead Ranch Animal Hospital & Grooming
Dobson Ranch Animal Hospital & Grooming
Roadrunner Animal Hospital & Grooming
Westbrook Animal Hospital & Grooming
Surprise Animal Hospital & Grooming
White Tanks Animal Hospital & Grooming
Las Sendas Animal Hospital & Grooming