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Monthly Archives: October 2020

The Best Outdoor Activities to Do with Your Pet This Fall

Pet Friendly Fall Activities

Now that the fall season is finally here, Arizonans can take advantage of the beautiful weather, with the company of their furry friends. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things for dogs to do outside, that they normally wouldn’t enjoy during the hot summer months. Keep reading for some pet friendly fall activities and fun places to take your dog this season.

Hiking: 

Going for a hike with your pup is a great way to enjoy nature and get fit at the same time. If your dog is athletic and needs to burn off some energy, hikes will become your new best friend this season. There are different types of trails all over the Valley that have incredible views, and some are puppy proof! Here are a few to check out soon: 

  • North Mountain National Trail – Moderate 
  • Dreamy Draw Loop – Moderate
  • Shaw Butte Trail – Moderate 
  • Phoenix Mountain Preserve – Easy to Moderate 
  • Gateway Loop – Easy 

Dog Parks: 

One of the best outdoor activities for dogs is to enjoy some time at the local dog park. With temperatures cooling down, pet parents can play fetch with their fur kid – without all the sweat and heat exhaustion. Dog parks allow pups (and their owners)  to socialize and get some fresh air at the same time. Below are a few pawesome dog parks that your pup will love: 

  • Cosmo Dog Park – Gilbert area
  • Paradise Valley Dog Park – Phoenix/ Paradise Valley area
  • Tempe Sports Complex Dog Park – Tempe area 
  • Quail Run Dog Park – Mesa area 

Pet-Friendly Places Around the Valley: 

Looking for something unique to do this weekend? Luckily, during the months of September – November, Arizona doesn’t fall short when it comes to places and experiences you and your pets can enjoy. Check out this list of other pet friendly fall activities that you won’t want to pass up:

  • The McCormick Stillman Railroad Park 
  • Goldfield Ghost Town 
  • Farmer’s Markets 
  • Biltmore Fashion Park 

As you can see, you and your furry friend have a lot to check off your bucket lists this year! Pets make great adventure partners, just remember to always keep their health and safety in mind. Happy fall! 

AZPetVet loves to see our patients and pet parents enjoying everything that Arizona has to offer. Call one of our 21 locations across the Valley to schedule your pet’s yearly wellness exam today! 

Cats Have Allergies! Itching to Help Your Feline Friend?

All About Allergies in Cats

Just like humans, cats have allergies. However, unlike humans, your cat will likely not develop the same watery sinuses or tickle in their throat, so it’s good to be able to identify signs and determine the best treatment methods early in order to spare your feline friend many miserable months.

Signs of Allergies in Cats

Most commonly, cats develop allergies to their environment, food, and fleas, and you will likely see signs of these allergies on their skin and coat. While no two cats are the same and symptoms may vary, if you want to know how to tell if your cat has allergies, here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Increased licking
  • Chewing/biting at skin
  • Hair loss
  • Lesions
  • Scabbing 
  • Dry/flaking skin
  • Redness on chin, paws, or mouth
  • Sneezing, coughing, or wheezing
  • Head shaking/frequent ear infections
  • Runny nose

Cats with allergies to food will most often scratch at their heads and necks and experience gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Frequent changes to diet can cause these reactions but ultimately, food allergies can show up in cats at any age or at any time. The cause of food allergies in small animals is the protein source, with chicken and beef being the most common allergens. Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, severe itching, and redness and swelling of the skin are common signs of environmental allergies in cats who spend a lot of time outdoors,. Flea allergies are most commonly transmitted from a flea bite directly and results in itchiness, redness, crusting, and hair loss of the head, neck, rump, dorsum, flank, and tail regions. It’s important to note that it may only require one bite to trigger 2-3 weeks of severe itchiness and discomfort. Cats can also be allergic to other types of insect bites, such as mosquitos, and can result in ulcerations and crusting lesions on the ears, nose, and less commonly, around the mouth and on the body.

What Are Cats Allergic To?

Not only is it crucial to your furry friend’s health for you to be able to recognize signs of allergies in cats, but it’s imperative that you understand what might be prompting these reactions. Here’s a list of some common triggers:

  • Various pollens (dust, tree, weed)
  • Protein source in food
  • Mold or mildew
  • Fleas/flea preventatives
  • Other insect bites
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Prescription medications
  • Rubber or plastic materials

How to Treat Your Cat’s Allergies

Since the signs of allergies in cats vary, you’ll want to visit your primary veterinarian to best determine how to treat your cat’s allergies and develop a plan that meets his or her specific needs. Your vet may determine the source of the reaction(s) but if not, they may recommend skin or blood tests, medications, or suggest an elimination diet with the goal of narrowing down potential causes.

It’s unfortunate that even with technology today, our pets are still unable to verbalize their feelings. It’s our duty as pet parents to become aware of common triggers, avoid products or environments that over-stimulate the senses, and remain cognizant of abnormal behaviors in order to act accordingly and in a timely manner. Keeping a close eye on your feline friends and treating symptoms as soon as they arise guarantees more snuggles and less sneezing all year round. 

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. 

Tropical Royalty – How to Take Care of an Iguana

Close-up portrait of iguana

Learn How to Take Care of an Iguana, Before Adopting One

Did you know that there are different types of iguanas? There’s the Desert Iguana, Galapagos Land Iguana, and Rhinoceros Iguana – just to name a few. There are some with spiky tails, some that live near the sea, and some that are pink or red in color, but the most popular iguana species that is often kept as a pet is the Green Iguana because they tend to be calm and easy to manage. Green Iguanas derive their name from the very beautiful, vibrant green color of their skin.

When you’re ready to expand your family and bring a scaly friend into your home, there are a few important details to consider to ensure that you are up to speed on proper iguana care and feeding.

5 Important Things to Know When Getting Ready to Take Care of an Iguana:

  1. Size & Space – Iguanas can grow to be very large, some reaching over 6 feet in length and weighing up to 20 pounds. A large iguana calls for a large iguana habitat and when selecting the appropriate enclosure, it’s important to note that iguanas are arboreal creatures, meaning they often live in trees and have an innate urge to climb. You’ll want to consider this when picking out the perfect iguana tank setup.
  2. Climate – The Green Iguana is native to South and Central America and some parts of the Caribbean islands. This is because iguanas thrive in tropical weather that is both rich in heat and humidity, so It’s important to provide a warm basking spot and maintain the appropriate humidity level in your iguana tank setup. You can increase humidity by providing a large pool of water or by purchasing a mister and lightly misting the entire habitat, including the iguana, at least twice a day. They are diurnal, which means, like humans, they’re active during the day and sleep at night so your iguana tank setup should have an adjustable climate system with daytime temperatures ranging from 80-90 degrees fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Strength – Iguanas are strong, especially their tails as this is their primary defense system in the wild. Just like any pet, iguanas will need to go through a taming/training period and it’s not uncommon for the handler to experience a tail-whip here and there during this process. It’s all part of the fun in learning how to take care of an iguana.
  4. Introverts – Iguanas are not very social, nor are they cuddly and they can be a little bit lazy. As they get older, they often enjoy spending their days basking under a heat lamp or in the sunlight completely unbothered. However, if not properly or regularly handled from a young age, iguanas can develop irritable temperaments so while they may not want to go on long walks through the park, a little bit of extra attention each day will go a long way.
  5. Diet – While some reptiles have been known to indulge in insects, iguanas are natural herbivores, meaning they are at their healthiest when on an all-vegetarian diet. Some great examples of healthy greens include kale, collard greens, beet greens, alfalfa hay, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, and green beans. They can also enjoy fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and more.

Iguanas are ectothermic which means they rely on their environment to regulate their temperature. While this trait makes them a bit more adaptable, they are still sensitive to sudden environmental changes – like moving to Arizona! So, you’ll want to ensure your enclosure is accommodating for a smooth transition to the desert.

Proper iguana care and feeding are crucial to an iguanas lifespan. With the appropriate diet and environment, an iguana can live up to and sometimes beyond 20 years – so, as long as you research as much as you can and consider these factors, you and your iguana are sure to be lifelong friends.

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.

Happy Vet Tech Week!

National Vet Tech Week – October 11-17, 2020

Happy Vet Tech Week! AZPetVet doesn’t need a reason to celebrate some of our most important team members, but we will take this week as the perfect excuse! 

Image of vet tech examining dog paw

So, when is Vet Tech week? This national holiday came about back in 1993, and now occurs every third week in October. During these seven days, veterinarian practices and pet owners alike honor the vet tech profession and all the work they do to keep furry friends happy and healthy. You’ll find Vet Techs wherever you find veterinarians on staff – from animal hospitals like AZPetVet to the local zoo. Essentially, anywhere that cares for animals will have Vet Techs who serve as a critical component of the practice. And, they do not have it easy! Every day looks a little different, and brings both new adventures as well as challenges! Their driving force? Their endless love for all kinds of pets and animals! 

Vet Tech appreciation week 2020 is an excellent opportunity to praise the work that our Vet Techs and veterinary support team perform every day. They work tirelessly to give excellent care to every pet they come across. Below are just a few of the responsibilities they fulfill here at AZPetVet: 

  • Educate clients about pet health
  • Assist with emergency cases 
  • Collect blood and other samples
  • Check vital statistics
  • Emotional support to both pets and their parents
  • Provide nutritional advice
  • Monitor anesthesia
  • Administer medications
  • Provide nursing care
  • Medical therapy 
  • Radiology
  • Dental cleaning and x-rays 
  • Provide belly rubs and cuddles (yes, these are a must!) 

As you can see, Vet Techs definitely have their hands full. In light of this national holiday, if you’d like to show your gratitude to an amazing vet tech, here are a few simple ideas for vet tech appreciation week: 

  • Surprise them with a cup of coffee 
  • Give them a handwritten thank you note 
  • Give them a positive shoutout when leaving a review for your pet’s animal hospital or veterinarian’s office, including social media platforms 

Of course, just a simple ‘thank you’ will go a long way, any day of the year! 

We are so appreciative of all of the hard-working Vet Techs who make a difference in animals’ lives each day! Interested in a career as a Vet Tech with AZPetVet? We’re always looking for hardworking team members! Visit our careers page for more information on current positions available.