Author Archives: AZPetVet

Excessive Meowing

Why is your cat meowing more than usual?

The cat’s meow: A brief history lesson

The goal of a cat’s meow changes as cats move from infancy to adulthood. In fact, a cat can be extremely noisy after birth. Indicating to the mother that they are cold, hungry or scared, kittens use their newfound voice to bring attention to their needs.

As a cat progresses into adulthood, however, the intentions of their excessive
meowing begin to change from an indication of hunger to a more distressed, or
bored nature. As the ASPCA notes, adult cats don’t meow to communicate with
other cats. Instead, they meow to communicate with people. These vocalizations
include hissing, yowling, chirring, and shrieking, each of which is designated for a
specific time of need. Meowing is generally reserved for their youthful kitten days —
and for people.

As touching as it is to be the reason a cat meows, there might be more concerning
reasons why your cat is meowing all the time, one that can’t be explained by yowls
or hissing.

Is too much meowing a bad thing?

It depends. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Here are some of the reasons
your cat may be more vocal:

Sickness– If you are concerned that your cat may be warning you they don’t feel
well, take your cat in to see the vet as soon as possible. Many illnesses that affect cats have discomforting side effects, including hunger, excessive thirst, and even pain.
Medical conditions, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, hearing loss, and even old age
can cause meowing to increase.

Stress– Although sun-bathing and napping all day might not sound too high
pressure, cats have a way of taking in the energy of the household. Sudden
environmental shifts like moving, the addition of a new family member or the loss of
a relative can all trigger a cat’s anxiety. Left with no other way to express themselves,
cats resort to excessive meowing. Spending time with your pet during these
transitional periods to reduce their anxiety is a great way to minimize the noise.

Breeding– Cats looking to attract mates may turn to their animal instincts to attract
a potential partner. An attempt to lure a lover with a melodic meow may be the
reason your cat has been acting up. Spaying or neutering your cat can dampen their
need to mate.

Accentuate the Positive

Once you’ve ruled out any of these possible reasons your cat may be extra vocal, you
think about different ways to minimize an overly communicative cat through
positive reinforcement.

When your cat is quiet, praise her calmly and peacefully. Make sure you’re lavishing
plenty of attention on your cat throughout the day and following a regular meal
schedule. The trick to this strategy is to avoid punishing your cat for being overly
vocal—that will only induce more fear, prompting more meowing. Ensuring your cat
isn’t neglected is the top tip to reducing your chatty kitty’s tendencies.

Eliminate the Negative

Try to determine what triggers meowing. Is your cat excited? Nervous? Anxious?
Scared? If you can pinpoint the cause, your veterinarian can suggest
ways to help disrupt excessive meowing.

While there are several reasons your cat may be vocally active, pinpointing the cause
can help you keep your cat healthy and happy, and you and your neighbors’ ears at
peace.

If you’ve found ways to encourage your vocal cat to be a little quieter, feel free to
drop a comment below with your tips and tricks!

Meet a few of the BARK-iest Dog Breeds from Bloodhounds to Pinschers

What is the BARK-iest dog breed?

As dogs, barking is undoubtedly part of the job description. However, some breeds of
dogs just can’t help but bark more than others. From a bloodhound bark to a
chihuahua bark, no matter the size, every dog barks. It’s always a good idea to know
in advance whether your eardrums are compatible with your four-legged friend. If
you’ve found this out too late, you could always buy earplugs in bulk packets to hand
out liberally to family, friends, and neighbors. Better yet, the best bet is to nip this
habit in the bud. Take the time to work with your dog to teach them to control this undesirable behavior. Here are some of the barkiest breeds and insights into why
they bark as much as they do.

Chihuahuas – One of the barkiest breeds out there, chihuahuas are most definitely known for their shrill yip. This behavior is more common than you’d think, however.
Because of their size, chihuahuas are often mistaken as not needing much exercise.
Instead, the breed’s highly enthusiastic demeanor warrants loud barks to release this
pent-up energy.

A result of their territorial nature, chihuahuas also bark to warn others of their presence. So, while these cute and tiny little terrors may let loose with a string of
brain-shattering barks that could raise the dead, the bark often has the most sincere
intentions to protect.

Terriers (except for bull terriers, who are quiet in comparison) – Terrier breeds are dogdom’s kings and queens of barking, with honorable mentions going to Schnauzers and beagles, who, during the contest, were clearly barking up the wrong tree.

Although they might not look the part, terriers were bred to hunt, which is why their barking habits can be attributed to their acute animal instincts. When they’re not
out in the woods sniffing for small game, these pooches are guarding the home.
Even a little noise might trigger these terriers into a barking frenzy. Next time your
terrier barks, try making a distracting noise of your own to get your dog to stop
barking. Reward the silence and repeat.

German Shepherds – The handsome and intelligent policeman of the dog world has
a deep, throaty howl that could scare even the spookiest of monsters. Loyal and
affectionate in nature, German shepherds use this low bark to draw human
attention or to express their anxiety and yearning for their owner to return home.

Bred to herd (and to be heard), German shepherds fulfill their duties by barking
orders at those being herded. Proud of their success, a German shepherd bark also
indicates pride and confidence.

Regular exercise and training can help them learn to control their instinct to bark.

Miniature Schnauzers – Like many of their larger dog-relatives, a miniature
schnauzer is bred as a guard dog. Their bark can be triggered by sounds coming
closer to the home.

One way to get your miniature schnauzer to stop barking is to reduce your
dog’s view of the outside world. This way, they won’t feel so intimidated.

Bloodhounds – A bloodhound’s bark is instantly recognizable. Distinctive and deep,
it’s no wonder why this dog was bred for hunting and search-and-rescue. Not only
do bloodhounds use their bay to sound the alarm, but they also bark when they feel
lonely or anxious. Giving your dog plenty of exercise can help curve this loud habit.

Huskies – While huskies rarely bark, these dogs are quite vocal and will provide
endless rambling commentary about their day. Because huskies were bred as wild
dogs, they are often non-territorial, leaving them feeling like they don’t need to
protect much. Instead, they are passionate about sharing their opinions using
alternative howls and grunts.

Alaskan Malamutes – Similar to their close cousin the husky, the malamute name is
a lie. There is no “mute” in the Alaskan Malamute. They’ll hold entire conversations
with anyone who will listen. Often, their vocalizations are playful and asking for
attention. When an Alaskan Malamute barks, you can be sure there’s something
awry.

Miniature Pinschers – “Min Pins”, as they are affectionately known, are actually
willful little dictators that are determined to bend you to their wishes. A big dog in a

small body, miniature pinschers bark to assert their power…even if they are only 11
pounds.

If pinschers are not active enough, they will bark just to hear themselves bark. It’s
essential to train these dogs early on so that their nuisance barking doesn’t become
a habit.

Great Pyrenees – Bred to guard flocks of sheep and cattle, Pyrenees use their bark
language to express alarm at everything from a light breeze blowing to actual
predators afoot! Unfortunately, it’s all the points in between alerts that will really test
everyone’s patience.

While we’ve poked fun at the topic, no matter what the breed, excessive barking can
be a severe problem, for you and for your neighbors. With a little bit of training and
lots of rigorous exercise, your dog is sure to wag more and bark less.

The American Humane Society: tips to curb excessive barking.

AZPetVet & LovePup: Microchip Event!

On Saturday, May 11, 2019, AZPetVet teamed up with the LovePup Foundation to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of their Hip to Chip program! While collars and tags for your pet are critically important, a microchip can help provide identification should collars or tags come off; so this program works to ensure that all dogs from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) animal shelters receive a free microchip upon adoption, ultimately helping to reunite pups with their families if they accidentally get lost. In the first 12 months, the program has helped expedite these reunions, sometimes without the lost dogs even having to go to the shelter (some of the animal control officers have been able to scan and return home in the neighborhood right away!)

As part of the anniversary celebration event, AZPetVet provided free microchips to owners who already have pups that didn’t yet have a chip. We setup three different temporary exam tables to help manage the consistent flow of folks bringing their pups (and a couple of cats!) to the event, and our incredible team of doctors and technicians were on hand obtaining vitals, administering microchips, and providing some wonderful TLC to all the pets coming through. Once chipped and registered, owners and pets had the opportunity to swing by our AZPetVet table where additional team members handed out some fun swag, provided some extra belly rubs for those loveable pups, and pet parents could chat with our CEO, Dr. Anderson. In just the three hours of the event, in total we provided 117 pets with microchips!

We received nothing but great feedback from our partners, volunteers, and all of the members of the public who got to come and enjoy the event with their dogs. Every person and family who provided feedback to us and the LovePup crew was so grateful to receive the free microchip for their beloved pets, as well as the swag, food, treats, water, leashes and collars from all the on-site event partners – LovePup, AZPetVet, Safeway, Lerner & Rowe, Max & Neo, and MCACC.

We all know that giving back comes in many forms; everything from individual small acts of kindness to larger donations or gestures by a team can create positive impact throughout both our workplaces and our community at large. At AZPetVet, we are honored to have incredible team members throughout or family of hospitals who embrace our core values including respect for others, and share a dedication to helping pets in need.

Keeping the Pantry – (and the heart) – Full!

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet Sonya – the incredible young woman behind GrandPaws Pantry – then you already know that you have met someone special! Even though she isn’t even old enough to have her driver’s license yet, she is well ‘on the road’ to making an incredible impact in her community. As the founder of GrandPaws Pantry a few years ago, Sonya’s passion for providing supplies and resources as well as serving as an advocate for all animals is infectious. The AZPetVet family of animal hospitals was honored to support this local non-profit as a partner in our annual holiday drive, with our locations serving as donation drop-off points across the valley.

Donations came from everyone including our amazing clients, vendor partners, team members, and community members – even some without pets of their own! Sonya (and her transportation support!) took the time to visit our locations, collecting the donations and taking the opportunity to say thank you in person. (No Sonya…thank YOU for your passion!) More than a thousand items were collected to help stock the pantry, and the AZPetVet partners came together to provide a $1,600 cash contribution which was an unexpected surprise for Sonya. We are proud to partner with GrandPaws Pantry, helping to support the wonderful impact they are having in our community!

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.