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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Tips For Preventing Pet Dental Disease

golden retriever smiles at cameraPeriodontal disease in pets (and people) can be prevented, treated and if caught early, even reversed. Here are some tips for preventing pet dental disease:

  1. Work directly with your veterinarian to protect your pet against the dangers of periodontal disease.
  2. Combine regular home brushing with veterinary cleanings and dental care to keep periodontal disease at bay.
  3. Brush your pet’s teeth daily with a toothpaste that’s just for dogs. Your vet can recommend one. Regular brushing helps reduce plaque.
  4. Give your dog dental chews and chew toys – the gnawing also helps reduce plaque formation on the teeth. Look for specially formulated dental chews that have special enzymes to impede the formation of tartar. These are not a replacement for brushing, but will help keep your pet’s mouth clean and fresh.
  5. Schedule regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian – at least once per year.

February is Pet Dental Health Month so it’s the perfect time to schedule a cleaning. Click here to find an AZPetVet location near you.

Pet Dental Health Month

Partnering Up to Provide a Helping Hand

Each holiday season the AZPetVet family of animal hospitals conducts a donation drive to support a local pet-related non-profit (or two). Last week, we were thrilled to handoff the amazing donations collected to one of the two organizations we partnered with this year. During the month, we collected items from team members, vendor partners, and our incredible clients who all gave from their hearts! The director of Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds is a hands-on leader, and personally came to help collect the donations – over 2,000 items! It took two large vehicles and more than one trip to deliver all the donations – but everything made it, and will be put to good use!

In addition to all the products and goods collected, the AZPetVet partners provided a $2,750 cash contribution to the drive, helping ensure that the wonderful work of Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds can continue forward. AZPetVet is honored to have had the opportunity to partner with this wonderful non-profit, helping to create a lasting, positive impact in our community.



Your Pet Probably Has Dental Disease

Pet dental disease is the most common and preventable health condition for pets. They start out with beautiful, shiny white teeth. But by age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease. This can lead to more severe health problems.

Pets need dental care just like people. Without regular cleanings, plaque begins to build up on the teeth. Plaque is a nasty, sticky film caused by bacteria in the mouth. As plaque forms on the teeth, it irritates the gum tissue, causing red or swollen gums. Eventually, minerals in the saliva will harden the plaque into tartar.

Bacteria and plaque build-up on your pet’s teeth that isn’t removed through at-home brushings will mean bad breath and tartar are definitely in your pet’s future. Regular dental cleanings by veterinary professionals can reduce your pet’s risk for developing gingivitis, a painful inflammation of the gums, periodontal disease, and avoid tooth loss. Pets with periodontal disease are at risk for developing heart, liver or kidney disease .

if your pet has bad breath, red or swollen gums, missing, loose or cracked teeth or has experienced a recent change in appetite or trouble eating, it’s time for a trip to AZPetVet.

Find an AZPetVet location near you.

Benefits and Safety Tips for Hiking or Running With Your Dog

Helpful Preventative Measures When Hiking or Running With Your Dog

Arizona’s warm climate is ideal for hikers and runners. Sometimes, it’s nice to bring a friend along. Hiking with your dog – or even running with your dog – can be great exercise, as well as a bonding experience. Here are some key tips for how to make your run or hike with your dog a tail-wagging good time for everyone.

Vaccinations & Preventative Medicines: Before you begin running or hiking with a young dog, be sure they’ve built natural immunity, the bones are sufficiently developed, and are up to date on vaccines. One year, give or take a few months (depending on size, breed, and other factors) should be a safe age for you to hit the trail with your trusty sidekick. Make sure they’re also protected from heartworm, fleas and ticks. Consult your vet about recommended preventative measures for dogs participating in outdoor activities like running and hiking.

Is Your Hiking Trail Tail-Friendly? We understand the urge to take your dog with you, especially when you’re enjoying a run or hike and taking in the Arizona sights. The problem? While the number of dog-friendly places is growing, unless you have a service dog, your furry sidekick is not welcome everywhere. Always check the regulations posted for the areas where you’ll be hiking or backpacking. Many national parks actually prohibit dogs on the trail, even when they are leashed! However, many national forests, as well as state and local parks, do allow dogs on their trail systems, though rules vary. Leashes are mandatory almost everywhere.

Bone Up on Trail Etiquette: When hiking or running with your dog, you must maintain control at all times. Yield the right of way to hikers, horses and bikes, so step to the side of the trail to allow them to pass. Also – having your dog on a leash isn’t enough. If your dog is distracted or becomes agitated as other people and pooches pass by, further training is in order. Obedience training establishes you as the leader of the pack.

Leave No Trace: Pooper Scoop! Going for a day hike? Don’t leave your pooches’ presents by the trail for someone else to pick up (or your own, for that matter!). Always pack out filled poop bags. Double bag for extra protection from unpleasant smells.

Protect the Paws: There are lots of protective pet shoe options for dogs of all sizes. While they’ll need to adjust to the strange sensation of wearing shoes, as well as walking or running in them, it’s worth it to protect your dog from harm – especially during Arizona’s long, hot summers. Hiking and running shoes made just for dogs can help prevent cuts, bites, and burns on tender paws and pads that will require veterinary care.

Remember the Sunscreen: Pets can get sunburned or develop skin cancer, so it’s important to take precautions when hiking or running with your dog. Breeds like Boxers, Bull Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers are very vulnerable to sunburn and possible skin cancers. Severe burns may also cause skin infections. Ask your vet about sunscreens formulated especially for pets. Caution – what’s safe for dogs may not be for cats. Look for pet safe products that contain NO ZINC OXIDE (a common ingredient in many sunscreens) – it’s toxic to animals.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Pets can dehydrate incredibly quickly. It’s vitally important to bring along plenty of fresh water – for both of you – when running or hiking with your dog. Remember, flat face breeds cannot pant effectively, so they’re more susceptible to heat stroke. Leave them at home. Older dogs that are overweight or have medical conditions should be kept cool, so best to pick another form of exercise.

Rattlesnake Avoidance Training: For frequent hikers, or if you live in an area with lots of desert around, we recommend you and your pet attend Rattlesnake Avoidance Training with a professional trainer. There are several different methods involved in this type of training, so be sure to ask a lot of questions before you decide on a trainer and training system. We also recommend repeating training annually – as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The Best Time for Running or Hiking With Your Dog: During the heat of Arizona’s summer months, take walks early in the morning when it’s cooler, or later in the evening after the cement or ground has had time to cool down. Remember, the pads on your dogs feet are not the same as shoes, and can burn and blister very easily; so if you can’t be barefoot on the ground, then neither should your pup.

Regular hikes or runs can also help ensure your dog gets appropriate amounts of exercise and stimulation. Make sure you run through the above checklist, then get outside with your pooch and have a wonderful time! Still not sure about taking your dog on a run or hike? Talk to your vet for additional guidance.

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!