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Monthly Archives: April 2020

Pet Entertainment – Best Chew Toys to Keep Your Pet Happy & Engaged

Best Pet Chew Toys for Dogs & Puppies

As many pet parents know, finding the perfect pet chew toy for your furry friend can seem like an impossible task. Just like humans, each pup has its unique personality, desires, and interests, which can significantly impact what kind of toys they prefer. On top of this, some dogs need high-quality toys that can pretty much withstand going through a woodchipper. As many pet owners know, without quality and durability in a toy, you might come home to find it torn to bits while your dog watches you with big, innocent “I didn’t do it” eyes from the couch.

However, you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet while on the search for the best dog toy. By recognizing your furry friend’s unique interests and personality, you can quickly identify the pet toys that they will be sure to love.

Best Toys for Hyper Dogs

If your dog requires lots of long walks, runs, and plenty of playtime to burn off some energy, then you need to invest in dog toys built for hyper pups. These toys help them work up a sweat, without you having to sweat too much yourself. For dogs that have a little more energy than the rest, consider pet toys that are easy to pick up and throw long distances. While balls can be great, frisbees also make for a fun alternative to bring with you whenever you visit the dog park. You can easily throw a frisbee a greater distance, while still having the ability to play some light tug-of-war to entice your pup to play. Plus, if your furry friend likes to swim, then you can easily find a multi-purpose frisbee that will float on the water.

If you need a break from playtime but your pup is still ready to play fetch, consider purchasing a ball thrower. These accessories take the hassle out of doggie recess by acting as an extension of your arm. Just scoop up the ball with the thrower and launch it further and faster. This toy is an excellent option for hyperactive pups that can play for what feels like hours.

 Most Durable Chew Toys for Puppies

Puppies experience a period of rapid development during the first 2 to 10 months of their life where their little fuzzy bodies drastically grow and change. Along with this development comes the fun stage of teething where puppy teeth make way for the adult teeth. This stage brings much discomfort for their gums and causes them to chew on shoes, pillows, chairs, and whatever else they can get their little jaws on.

Due to the teething stage, the best pet toys for puppies are ones that are durable, enticing, and encourage good behavior. For example, if you want to discourage your pup from ripping apart your shoes, avoid teething toys shaped like everyday items, such as squeaky sneakers. Consider KONG toys as an alternative as they are made with strong, non-toxic rubber that’s also dishwasher safe.

Another great way to help soothe sore gums is by investing in chewy toys that can be frozen to provide cooling relief during the teething process. Find a puppy chew toy that you can fill with 100 percent purified water, pop it in the freezer for a bit, and let your little furry friend chew away.

 Best Toys for Dogs that Get Bored Easily

While nothing can replace the true value of quality one-on-one playtime with your pup, sometimes your furry friend wants to play when you’re away. When your dog gets bored while at home alone, it can lead to unfavorable behaviors such as tearing up your belongings or rummaging through the trash. To entertain your dog even while you’re away, consider investing in some durable and fun puzzle toys for your pet.

Puzzle toys often hold treats or little pieces of food to encourage your pup to play. These toys can be as simple as food dispensing balls that require your dog to roll them around to retrieve the food, to something as complex as a puzzle with levers to reveal treats. Depending on your dog’s personality and level of patience, there’s a perfect puzzle toy for every pooch to enjoy.

You don’t need to spend tons of money to find the best pet chew toy for your furry friend. By recognizing your pup’s unique personality and interests, you can easily find the perfect match for them that will keep those tails wagging and stand the test of time.

How Pets Help Relieve Stress

Stress Relief Animals: The Pawsome Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Pet stress relief. Is this really a thing? Yes! As a source of companionship and unconditional love, pets give us an abundance of opportunities to laugh, connect with others, and create funny YouTube videos. While regular trips to the vet are vital for keeping your pet healthy and happy, did you ever stop to thank your pet for the health benefits they provide for you?

Chronic stress is a gateway to all sorts of health problems. Without a doubt, having pets has a strong correlation to stress relief. OK, maybe not so much during the puppy and kitten stage when they can be like miniature weapons of mass destruction, but with a little patience and training, it’s well worth the effort.

Numerous studies show that pets are not only good for our minds but also good for our bodies. Here are just a few of the ways that animals and pets help reduce stress and improve our health.

Pets have an uncanny ability to make us laugh. Doctors always say that laughter is the best medicine, and in many ways, it’s true! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing activates and relieves the body’s stress response, soothes tension, relaxes tense muscles, and stimulates circulation. In addition:

Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” – Mayo Clinic –

You might be wondering, how does petting animals reduce stress? Humans have an innate need for touch. Physical touch not only builds trust, but also reduces stress and gives the immune system a boost. For instance, just the simple act of petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure several points. People can reap the benefits of touch by petting a dog or cat, but it’s especially important for people who are elderly or live alone. Having a pet can improve overall mood and health, and help reduce fearfulness and feelings of worry and isolation, which are contributors to stress.

Dogs relieve stress in humans in a variety of ways. While many of us hate the thought of getting up and going to the gym, we’re not quite so reluctant to get up, get outside and take a walk with the dog. Not only do we get the benefit of exercise and fresh air, walking the dog can even help us meet new friends or even potential partners – another mood booster!

Can cats help reduce stress? Yes, for all the same reasons that dogs do. Stress can compromise our immune system, so stress relief is an important part of maintaining your overall health. You might be surprised to learn that cats and dogs also help boost our immune systems. Studies show that children in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, so disregard all the old wives’ tales. Early exposure to pets and pet dander – this especially applies to cats – can reduce a child’s risk for developing allergies by up to 80 percent! Click here to learn more. In even more recent studies, pets – specifically dogs – are credited with boosting the immune system of children. Click here to learn more.

Animal therapy for stress is becoming more common every day. Pets reduce anxiety and help relieve the symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness, which is why more hospitals, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers, and even prisons are incorporating animal-assisted therapy programs into their organizations. For instance, the beloved local nonprofit, Gabriel’s Angels, brings the healing magic of pets to help abused, at-risk, and neglected children learn to develop trust, respect, empathy for others, and other important life skills.

While you might think that all of these positive health benefits are limited to connections made with our furry friends, you’d be wrong! Many scientific studies show that interacting with fish, birds, horses, dolphins and many other animals can also help relieve stress. Whether they’re furry, feathered, or scaled, remember to thank your pet for all the health benefits they give to you by taking care of their health. Regular wellness visits to the vet, annual vaccinations, and consistent dental care can help keep your pet well, happy, and with you for many years to come.

[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.

Heartworm Awareness Month

How to Avoid Heartworms in Dogs

Springtime in the Greater Phoenix area brings mosquitoes, and with them comes an increased risk for heartworms, a serious parasitic disease that’s found primarily in dogs and cats. According to the National Heartworm Society, at least 22 different species of mosquitoes can carry heartworm larvae, and more than 100,000 dogs contract heartworms each year.

Remember, these are actual worms. Heartworms can live directly within the infected animal’s heart or the neighboring large blood vessels for years. In severe cases, up to several hundred worms could be present, and each can grow up to a foot-long. As heartworm disease advances, it can result in a myriad of health complications including severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to other organs. It can even be fatal. That’s why prevention is critical to pets that may be at risk.

Signs of Heartworm Disease in Dogs

In the early stages of heartworm disease, many dogs will show few symptoms or worse, no symptoms at all. The longer the infection is present, the more likely symptoms will develop. It’s important to get your dog tested, and onto a course of preventive treatment if your vet recommends it.

Signs of heartworm disease may include:

  • Mild persistent cough
  • Lethargy/avoids exertion
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

Signs of Heartworm Disease in Cats

The signs of heartworm disease in cats can be very subtle or very dramatic. Symptoms may include:

  • Coughing or asthma-like attacks
  • Periodic vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Heartworm Preventative Comparison

It’s estimated that more than 1 million dogs are heartworm positive nationwide. Since prevention is the only way to protect your pet, it’s a simple matter of consulting your vet about an oral, topical, or injectable preventative medication at your next veterinary appointment. While heartworm medications don’t prevent infection from occurring, they do kill any existing heartworm larvae that were transmitted since the last monthly treatment, so they don’t have the chance to cause health problems.

An annual blood test and preventative oral, topical, or injectable medication are the best weapon against heartworms. The combination of an annual test along with a scheduled dose of monthly heartworm preventative at home (or an injectable preventative at your wellness appointment) is the most effective way to help protect your pet from this disease.

Heartworm Prevalence By Zip Code

Can your zip code make a difference in the level of risk for heartworms? Generally, yes, but the parameters are usually a bit broader. Due to local climate and rainfall, some areas of the country have mosquitoes all year round, so the risk for dogs to contract heartworms is definitely higher than for dogs in hotter, drier areas of the Southwest. While heartworms can be contracted any time of year, the risk for dogs in the Phoenix area is dramatically elevated in the weeks and months following rainfall (spring/fall) or monsoon storms (late summer), when mosquitoes tend to thrive.

Heartworm Cases in Arizona

While Arizona has seen an uptick in heartworm cases in recent years, it’s largely due to neglecting preventive measures as well as an increase in mosquitoes. While inside Maricopa County risk for heartworm remains moderate, a trip to Sedona, Flagstaff, or even another state can put your pets at risk. Ask your vet about establishing your pet on a heartworm preventative program.

Treatment of Heartworm Disease

Prevention, prevention, prevention. Effective treatments for heartworms in dogs do exist, but they are expensive and painful for your beloved pet to undergo. There is no treatment for heartworms in cats. Ask your veterinarian about a suitable heartworm prevention treatment program.

Thinking about traveling with your pet? The Pet Disease Alert Tracker can be helpful for pet owners who want to take precautions before traveling or to manage risk factors for pets with health conditions.

[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.