It’s a fresh new year, so it’s the perfect time to do a little new year pet health check-up on all things related to your pets. The theme is clean, clear and up-to-date, so let’s dig into our new year’s pet health check-up list!
1/ Schedule an annual check-up. Annual wellness exams can help prevent chronic health problems like diabetes as well as common communicable diseases. Your pet will be carefully examined from top to tail, including teeth. Pets will receive any needed vaccinations and boosters, plus flea and/or heart worm medications. If it’s been a while since your pet has seen the vet, don’t wait. Make an appointment today!
2/ Clean, Repair or Replace Worn Toys. Take a few minutes to sort through your pet’s toys. While every pet has their favorites, some toys can become choking hazards. Repair or replace anything with torn seams, visible stuffing or that’s just become gross. Some plush toys are washable. Make a habit to regularly wash them along with your pet’s bedding. Dogs also seem to collect old bones and chews. Quietly dispose of any with ragged edges or visible cracks.
3/ Wash & Repair Pet Bedding & Food Bowls. Regular washing of your pet’s bowls, bedding, pillows, blankets and plush toys is a must. Washing bedding and toys can help cut down on irritants and allergens like pet dander, dust and dirt. Use an unscented, pet safe detergent and avoid fabric softeners or other additives. Air dry or use the dryer, but avoid dryer sheets.
4/ Examine, Repair or Replace Collars, Harnesses & Leashes. Take a look at your pet’s collar, harnesses and leashes to make certain they’re in good working order, with no visible signs of wear and tear. Repair or replace if necessary. Now, get outside together and take a good long walk to enjoy the mild weather!
5/ Set Up a Regular Grooming Schedule! Your pet’s fur, teeth and nails can always use a bit of extra attention. Make sure to regularly groom your pets. Whether you bathe and groom them at home or use one of our experienced pet stylists, your pet will look, feel and smell wonderful. Don’t forget to regularly brush their teeth! Your veterinarian or groomer can show you the best techniques and recommend pet-safe products.
6/ Update Pet Tags, Licenses & Registrations. Check your pet’s tags, licenses and microchip registration information to be sure all contact details are correct. If your pet isn’t microchipped, get it done ASAP. Replace any worn or rusted ID tags.
Sometime, pets get out. Sometimes, they GET OUT and GET LOST. One tip: get the chip.
May is the national awareness month for chipping your pets. Dogs and cats can be chipped, so their people can be properly identified and contacted. While the technology has been out for quite some time, some pet owners still have questions. The Humane Society has done a great job of answering those questions…let’s take a look:
What are microchips?Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet. They’re implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades.
How do microchips work? Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. The animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number.
How long do microchips last?Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.
Where can I get my pet microchipped? We’re so glad you asked! You can chip your pet any of our AZPetVet locations!
What if I move? You need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless. You may be charged a small fee to process the update.
What do I do if I adopt a pet who’s already been microchipped? If you know what brand of chip your pet has, contact the corresponding registry to update the information. If you don’t know what type of chip your pet has, find a vet or animal shelter that can read it.
Hiring a professional, qualified individual to care for your pet while you’re traveling makes great sense for both you and your pet. March 5 – 11 is Professional Pet Sitters Week – so let’s take a moment to review why you might choose a pet sitter, and what makes a pet sitter a good choice for you and your pet.
Ask your family, friends and neighbors for recommendations. Before selecting a pet sitter, you should interview the candidates over the phone or at your home to learn all about a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Benefits for Pets Staying in their familiar environment Keeping their regular diet and routine No stress from unfamiliar places with other animals Reduced exposure to potential illnesses carried by other animals
Benefits for Pet Parents No calling in favors from friends and neighbors to care for your pet Peace of mind – your pet is being cared for by a professional No newspapers and mail stacking up to attract potential burglars
Have a Home Visit First Have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring them. Watch how they interact with your pet – it’s important for your pet (and you) to be comfortable with the person. When possible, hire the pet sitter to care for your pet while you’re away on a short trip, such as a weekend excursion.
Remember, to make reservations for pet sitting early, especially during holidays.
Make sure your pet is well socialized and comfortable with strangers handling them.
Make sure current identification tags are on your pet’s collar.
Maintain a regular vaccination schedule for your pet.
Leave clear instructions with schedules and important numbers.
Post emergency contact information for you and your veterinarian on the fridge.
Buy plenty of pet supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.
Review home safety features such as circuit breakers and security system with the pet sitter.
Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor or friend, and give them and your pet sitter each other’s phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
Some dogs just can’t resist rolling in mud, dirt or worse. Obviously, this means bath, stat! But outside of these dirt emergencies, how often should you give your dog a bath? Do they really need baths?
Just like people, some dogs can get a bit stinky without a regular bath. On the other hand, some dogs do just fine with a regular wipe down to remove dirt and grit. (We don’t recommend this approach for people.) Baby wipes are perfect for daily cleaning of the coat, paws and muzzle. They’re gentle and won’t cause irritation.
A good rule of thumb is to give your pet a bath once a month in the tub or shower, using warm water and a gentle dog specific shampoo, or you can use baby shampoo. If they have an underlying skin condition or allergies, you may need to bathe them more often with a medicated shampoo. Use a soap free or moisturizing formulation so their skin doesn’t get dried out. Your vet or groomer can recommend the type that’s right for your pooch. Never bathe your dog more than once a week unless it’s recommended by your vet.
While you’re bathing your dog, take special care to note any lumps, bump or skin changes that could indicate a health problem. If you find something of concern, be sure to let your vet know.
How to Dry Your Pet After Bathing
Rinse well, and dry with soft towels. Some dogs will allow you to use a hairdryer on a warm/cool setting, while others will freak out or consider it playtime. If you use a hair dryer, be sure to keep the nozzle at least 18 inches away to prevent overheating or burns. Whatever your dog’s preference, just dry them the best you can, and enjoy their after bath antics. Be sure they’re dry before going outside, or you’ll most likely be headed right back to the tub!
Not into the do-it-yourself dog bath? Regular grooming appointments can help keep your pet looking and smelling great! To find one of our 15 AZ PetVet Grooming locations, click here.