Author Archives: AZPetVet

It’s Always a Happy Thanksgiving With Pets

Five Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets

Across the country, on Thanksgiving Day, it’s a common tradition for families to come together to prepare and enjoy a delicious, home cooked meal. Often, before digging in, they’ll go around the dinner table and take turns stating something they are thankful for, and although they may not be sitting at the table, we encourage you to take a moment to give thanks to all of the amazing things that animals give us, too.

There’s no question that pets are great companions that provide us with unconditional love, motivate us to be healthier and help us unwind, and give us a much-needed laugh at the end of a busy work day. But those are just some of the thousands of reasons to be thankful for your cat, dog, and all other animals alike. Here’s a list of five more:

Nonjudgmental. Your pet won’t make fun of your clothes, they will kiss you even when you have bad breath and might even dance along with your terrible dance moves. Pets are great companions because in their eyes, you can do no wrong.

Non-Demanding. Pets don’t ask for much besides food, water, and a safe place to call home. Sometimes they demand more belly rubs or extra treats, but is that really too much to ask for considering all of the things that animals give us? They’ll be the easiest to shop for come Christmas time, that’s for sure.

Best Food Critic. In your pet’s opinion, you are an excellent cook and they probably wouldn’t turn up their nose at a dish that you’ve prepared. But – it’s important to keep the Thanksgiving feast on the table, not under it. Luckily for them, these homemade treat recipes we shared for National Cook for Your Pets Day  are easy enough to whip up for Thanksgiving, too!

Great Listener. You can laugh with them, joke with them, cry with them, spill your secrets to them – they will always listen. Unless you tell them to get off the couch, or stop scratching up the baseboards, or stop stealing and hiding your only good socks, then it seems to go in one ear and right out the other.

Body Warmer. Not only will they happily binge watch an entire Netflix series with you but they’ll cozy up right next to you – or right on top of your feet – and keep you nice and warm when the fuzzy socks or plush blanket just aren’t cutting it.

You’ll never feel alone in the presence of your pet, they’re always thrilled to see you, they’ll comfort you when you’re feeling low and always keep the secrets you can’t share with anyone else. Not only do they warm our feet, they never fail to warm our hearts so be sure to show your gratitude. Keep them close this holiday season, and you’re guaranteed to have a happy Thanksgiving with your pets.

National Cook for Your Pets Day

Home Cooking for Pets

The origin of National Cook for Your Pets Day remains somewhat of a mystery, but there’s absolutely no question that it’s been picked up nationwide by many pet parents who believe that there should be a special day, at least once a year, dedicated to treating our beloved companions to an extraordinary –  yet safe and nutritious – home cooked meal. If you’re thinking about participating, remember that maintaining a steady, consistent diet of quality food as discussed with your veterinarian is very important to your pet’s overall health.

Things to Consider with Home Cooking for Pets

Pet nutrition can be a challenge, especially for those looking to practice the art of cooking for their pets beyond this national holiday. According to the folks at the American Kennel Club (AKC), when done right, home cooking for your pets can offer a number of benefits like diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance issues, concern over food recalls, and so much more. Thankfully, AKC developed a list of some common mistakes to avoid when trying out home cooking for dogs and cats:

  • Not Using Trusted Sources
  • Not Preparing Balanced Meals
  • Relying on Multiple Diets to Create “Balance”
  • Using Unsafe/Unhealthy Ingredients
  • Straying From the Recipe
  • Understating the Impact of Dietary Changes

One important point the AKC makes is that while there are a great deal of benefits for whole-ingredient based diets, this serves only as a suggested alternative to commercial pet foods, not a required one. Owners should be aware of ingredient quality of commercial foods, and although they are not the most exciting of meals, they are still made to be complete and balanced. Regardless of which method you choose, just be sure that you are catering to your pet’s individual health, nutrition needs, and consult your veterinarian before switching to a homemade diet as you may unintentionally deprive them of necessary nutrients.

Try a Homemade Treat when Cooking for Your Pets

As an alternative, try making a homemade treat to celebrate National Cook for Your Pets Day!  During the workweek, after a long day at the office it might be tough to find the time or energy to whip up baked goods for your pet… but luckily for your furry friend, this holiday falls on the weekend and we’ve found a couple recipes in the hopes of saving you that extra step.

If it’s tips on how to cook for your cat that you’re searching, look no further than these homemade treats from Jennifer Coates, DVM at PETMD. The best part about home cooking for your pets is that you are 100% in control of what goes in them, and these limited ingredient kitty treats are a purr-fect example of that!

If it’s your canine companion you are interested in treating, pun not intended, these treats from AKC are sure to make them drool. Whether it’s National Cook for Your Pets Day or any day of the year for that matter, it can be fun to try out a vet-approved treat recipe to spoil your pet and it will surely be a satisfying nod to your cooking when you find them reaching (or pawing) for more!

Just keep in mind that providing nutritious, nutrient-rich meals is important for the health of your pets and switching your dog’s diet suddenly can cause an upset stomach – so while many home-cooked pet meals have ingredients that are nourishing, it might be best served as a holiday treat rather than a daily menu item.

If you’re interested in celebrating this holiday be sure to consult your veterinarian to discuss options for preparing healthy treats or meals to meet your pet’s particular health needs, age, and lifestyle.

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.

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. 

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.