Author Archives: AZPetVet

Know the History and What Were Beagles Bred For

A Brief History of Beagles: From Hunters to Family Dogs

With big floppy ears and the signature multi-colored coat — Beagles are just as fun-
loving and sweet as they appear! If you are looking to welcome a new pup into your
family, a Beagle could be an excellent choice. This breed is loving, curious, and
extremely loyal — you’ll never have a dull day with a Beagle in your home.
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What Were Beagles Bred For?

With a short yet sturdy body, this breed is built to be the ultimate hunting
companion. Due to their keen sense of smell, Beagles were originally bred as hound
dogs for hunting small game. Interestingly, the pups were being bred for specific
hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United
States to hunt rabbits.

History of Beagles

The history of the Beagle is not as precise as some other breeds we have profiled.
While ancient Greek documents place Beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the
breed, as we know it now, was not formally recognized until the 19th century. During
this time, Beagles were very popular in England, and it wasn’t much longer before
the breed became a favorite in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC)
started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884. Today, they are a consistently
popular choice for family dogs, appearing regularly on the AKC’s Top Ten Most
Popular Dog Breeds.

Different Beagle Breeds

While there is technically only one breed of Beagle, there are two different varieties
of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The only feature that
separates the two varieties is their size. One type stands below 13 inches tall while
the other stands between 13 to 15 inches tall. Other than the slight difference in
height, no other physical or personality traits differ between these two varieties of
Beagles. Both types can — and should — weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds.
Since this breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, it’s important
to maintain their activity levels as they age.

Beagles are black, brown, and white in color and are relatively easy to care for in
regards to grooming. A proper brushing once a week will cut down on the amount
of bathing they need unless they are used for hunting. They do, however, need to
have their ears checked frequently to help avoid infections.

Beagle Behavior

Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them the freedom to
wander around. While all dogs should be microchipped, it’s very important for
Beagles because their mischievous behavior can get the best of them. Beagles
follow their noses, so if they escape the yard, they can wander further from
home in pursuit of whatever scent is enticing them. Do your best to get them
outside and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent-up energy and
keep them on their best behavior in the house.

Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at
their best in extremely social settings and typically do not like being left home
alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you
return, which can include chewing shoes and furniture.

Beagles are a smart, curious, and energetic breed that packs a lot of love and
sweetness into a small package. Caution: don’t think there won’t be moments where
you are driven utterly crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember —
purebred Beagles are popular and lucrative “products” for puppy mills. There are
many wonderful Beagle rescue organizations and animal advocates working hard to
prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding. Consider adopting from a local Beagle
rescue.

Signature Siamese Persian Cat Personality Traits

Siamese Persian Cats: From Royalty to Disney Movie Stars & Beyond

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Despite how the Disney movie The Lady and The Tramp may have depicted this breed,
Siamese Persian cats are actually very loving, social, and outgoing. These cats are truly
elegant looking with their sleek bodies and beautiful eyes. They’re known as a natural
breed, having evolved through the ages, first appearing in a Thai manuscript of cat
poems believed to date as far back as the 14th century. Today, the Siamese cat has
contributed key features and personality traits to related breeds such as the Balinese,
the Oriental (the Himalayan division of the Persian), the Tonkinese, and the Havana
Brown.

History of the Siamese Persian Cat

The history of the Siamese Persian cat is just as storied. As one of the oldest breeds of cat,
the Siamese Persian was indigenous to Siam (known today as Thailand) for thousands of
years. It is believed that in the earliest days, Siamese cats were bred and reserved for Thai
royalty. The Siamese breed itself was not introduced to the West until the nineteenth
century. In 1878, the first Siamese Persian cat was introduced to the U.S. by a diplomat
stationed at the consulate in Bangkok, who gifted “Siam” to First Lady Mrs. Rutherford B.
Hayes.

Siamese Persian Cats: The Purrfect Personalities

The Siamese Persian breed’s striking features and loving personalities have seen its
popularity continue to grow in the United States. Along with their beautiful looks,
Siamese Persian cats have a personality that encompasses everything a cat lover would
look for in a feline friend! Being social and extremely vocal is in their nature, and it shows
in their day-to-day activity. They usually enjoy being with people and are known to
follow you around “talking” and “helping” wherever they can! Siamese Persian cats are
also great with children and dogs who like cats.

Caring for a Siamese Persian Cat

Overall, the care for these beautiful cats is straightforward. Siamese Persian cats are
typically indoor cats, so that adds to the ease of keeping them clean. They have short
hair and only require monthly brushing to remove any loose hair. They tend to be very
healthy, but collectively as a breed, they struggle with asthma and congenital heart
defects.

The Siamese Persian loves to stay active, which contributes to their sleek body type. It is
recommended to have plenty of physical activities to keep them busy while you are
away, such as tall climbing trees and plenty of interactive toys. It has also been
mentioned that they love to play fetch if trained to do so!

So, if you are looking for a social and talkative feline to add to your family, the Siamese
Persian could be an excellent breed for you! One note: if your schedule has you away
from home for long periods, cattime.com suggests getting two of them. Many do
not like being alone, and having a friend can keep them preoccupied until you
return.

Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in the United States

What is the most popular dog in the United States? Here’s the top 10.

The American Kennel Club released its list of the most popular dogs in the U.S., and
while many breeds retained their ranks, there were a few changes this year. The
ever-popular Labrador Retriever remains top dog among Americans and has
retained its rightful position as the most popular dog in the United States for
another year in a row. A few notable breeds have been knocked off their pedestals
this year and are no longer in the top 10 most popular breeds; including the Boxer
and Dachshund. In their place, two breeds have worked their way into the top 10 —
the French Bulldog and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Is your dog one of the 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.? Check the list below to
find out:

1. Labrador Retrievers

Step aside Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock, America has a new sweetheart — the
Labrador Retriever. The most popular dog breed in the United States, Labrador
Retrievers are known for glistening yellow, glossy black, and luscious brown coats.
These pups are social butterflies and usually have no issues making new friends —
human or dog! In the past, these dogs were bred to assist fishermen with their work.
Now, these dogs are also used for hunting, search and rescue, and as assistance
dogs. With energetic, loving personalities and an always wagging tail to match, it’s no wonder Labrador Retrievers rank number one out of the top 10 most popular dogs!

2. German Shepherds

German Shepherds are a fan favorite thanks to their loyalty, intelligence, and loving
personalities. Not only can this breed be great for families, but they’re also
incredibly dedicated working dogs. They’re often used on police forces, as assistance
dogs, and search and rescue teams. With long, thick black and brown coats, German
Shepherds leave their mark on the world by leaving tufts of hair wherever they go.
Brushing is a must with this furry breed!

3. Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever has been among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the
U.S. for years, and it’s easy to see why. With a thick, luxurious coat that gives the
breed its name, these dogs are easygoing, energetic, and very loving, which makes
them perfect for families. With a broad head and soft eyes, it’s hard not to fall in love
with these furry friends!

4. French Bulldogs

One of the more rare breeds on the top 10 list, French Bulldogs were created to be a
mini version of the regular Bulldog. With their signature bat-ears and small but still
muscular body, French Bulldogs continue to steal our hearts with their easygoing
and fun personalities. Similar to their bigger counterparts, French Bulldogs do enjoy
playing, but they are also equally happy spending the day snuggled up on the
couch.

5. Bulldogs

With highly distinguishable features, Bulldogs stand out of the crowd with their
famously wrinkly faces, pushed-in noses, and hanging chops on the sides of their
mouths. Their iconic and expressive features have propelled the Bulldog to appear
among some of the biggest college mascots and famous cartoons. Despite their
somewhat fierce appearance, Bulldogs make adorable and loving pets.

6. Beagles

With big, floppy ears that droop low over its head, Beagles continue to make
America melt with their sweet faces and curious nature. Beagles are known for
being compact and sturdy. They let their noses guide them through life, as they
were once bred primarily for hunting purposes. Due to this heritage, if they catch
onto a new scent, they may occasionally try to bring you along on a walk.
Cheerful and affectionate, beagles are great companions to other animals and
children — putting them high on the list for the most popular dog in the United
States.

7. Poodles

Forget movie and cartoon stereotypes — poodles are far from snobs! Poodles may
embody the glitz and glamour of the dog show world, but don’t be fooled. They were
initially bred to work. Today, poodles still carry many characteristics of their hard-
working ancestors. This breed is intelligent, friendly, and loving, which makes them
perfect for families that can keep them entertained and active. Known for fluffy
coats and signature hairdos, regal-looking poodles are playful, goofy, and
nonallergenic, earning them the title of one of America’s most popular dog breeds.

8. Rottweilers

With a broad chest and a muscular body, a Rottweiler’s appearance can be
deceiving as they can be the biggest teddy bears and great cuddlers. Rotties can be
very protective of their families, but a well-trained dog will be calm and even a little
aloof toward strangers. Intelligent and energetic, this breed thrives in families that
can give them the attention and love they need.

9. German Shorthaired Pointers

The German Shorthaired Pointer is not just a great hunting partner; they also make
fun and loving family dogs. With a short, dense coat that comes in a beautiful
combination of brown, black, and white, German Shorthaired Pointers steal hearts
with their floppy ears and enthusiastic personalities. This breed is incredibly
intelligent and active, but they don’t need to be running after game to burn energy.
German Shorthaired Pointers are perfect walking or running companions and will
always happily trot alongside you.

10. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are the definition of fitting a whole lot of fun into one tiny package.
These popular lap dogs may be small, but they have big personalities and are feisty,
loving, and occasionally a little bossy. With long hair in shades of steel blue and tan,
these pups fit perfectly into stylish totes. Yorkies will always be great companions
and conversation-starters whenever you’re out and about.

While all dogs are good dogs, some breeds are more popular in the U.S. for their
various characteristics and signature looks. However, no matter the breed, any dog
can be a great addition to the family when given lots of love, training, and plenty of
pets on the head and belly rubs!. Interested in a little dog breed trivia? Pop on over
to this American Kennel Club’s quiz on the most popular breeds.

Is your Pet a Healthy Weight?

shutterstock_34701850“An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese,” according to petobesityprevention.org.  This number is way too high and being the ones responsible for them, we can do MUCH better for our pets.  The first week of October is National Walk your Dog Week, finishing up that first week of the month celebrating National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.  Pet obesity is as large of a problem as human obesity in the United States. While there is some information provided here, it is highly recommended that you contact a veterinarian at one of our valley AZPetVet locations to discuss your pet’s weight and diet.

A few things that could lead to pet obesity include:

1)      Lack of our interaction and exercise – Sure, your pup can run around your backyard while you are busy, but will they?  Probably not.  Rather, they will probably nap until you get home and then wait patiently for you to come out and throw the ball or take them for a walk. With kids, work, and life in general…this sometimes doesn’t happen.

2)      The food we are feeding them could be heavy with preservatives and “fillers,” not enough of the ingredients that actually hold nutritional value.

3)      Early sign of a more serious medical problem.

4)      And…interestingly, the article petobesityprevention.org identifies that owners of obese pets often do not even recognize that their pet is obese.

So don’t wait; make your appointment for a wellness exam today!

Additionally, some of the issues your pet could face due to being overweight:

1)      Type 2 Diabetes

2)      Osteoarthritis

3)      High Blood Pressure

4)      Various forms of cancer

Suggestions for helping combat the problem?

1)      Take a look at the food you are giving them and talk with your vet about it.

2)      Add that extra trip around the block on the morning or evening walk.

3)      Buy a new toy that keeps their interest (and yours since you’re likely the source of throwing it!)

4)      Adopt a second cat or dog to keep your pet busy and active throughout the day.

Pet obesity in most cases is preventable and treatable. Use this National Walk your Dog week to really focus on spending more time with your pet doing high energy activity – fetch, a walk, or a perhaps a trip or two to the dog park!

Source: http://www.petobesityprevention.org; https://www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/default.aspx

National Cat Day – Oct. 29th

shutterstock_116906134Every year we recognize our feline friends and the personality they bring to our homes.  In celebration of this pet holiday, NationalCatDay.com shares with us ways to celebrate our cats and make this day special for them:

 

  • Adopt a cat from your local shelter or cat rescue.
  • Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to play with some cats available for adoption, clean cages and litter boxes or anything else they need help with.
  • Bake some cat shaped cookies for your kids, friends or office and bake some tuna cookies for your cat.
  • Spend the day taking photos of your cat and posting them on the National Cat Day Facebook page.
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by cleaning their cat’s litter box and playing with their cat.
  • Buy your cat a fun new toy….condo, bed or treats!
  • Give your cat some fun exercise by putting up some walls shelves specifically for him/her.
  • Make a window perch for your cat to lay in the sun.
  • Brush your cat to eliminate excess fur and hairballs.
  • Buy your cat a collar and tag with your name and number, just in case they get outside and happen to become lost.
  • Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.
  • Have a National Cat Day party and invite all your friends and their cats!

 

There are some great suggestions here!  Chances are, you already make your cat feel special from day to day, but trying even just one recommendation on the list will make them feel the love that much more.  Happy National Cat Day from our AZPetVet family to yours!

 

Source: http://www.nationalcatday.com