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.
It’s been a long, hot summer. That’s nothing unusual for Arizona, of course! We’ve shared a lot of tips over the past few months about keeping pets safe and healthy during the summer months. At the close of September, we’d like to take some time to look back at some of the pet safety tips you may have missed.
Barbecues are a big deal in Arizona – not just in the summertime, but all year round! It’s important that everyone have a great time and stay safe; including your pets!
Do you know what common backyard barbecue foods are especially dangerous for your furry friends? AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some valuable insights about pets and barbecues with the Your Life Arizona viewers. Check it out!
Potential Food Hazards For Pets
Corn on the Cob – while it seems like a natural treat, it poses a choking hazard.
Hot Dogs – another hazard for dogs! They are OK in very small amounts, but remember the preservatives and salt are not good for Fido’s tummy.
Potato Chips & Pretzels – these crunchy human treats have far too much sodium which can cause excessive thirst and urination in both people and pets. For pets, the worse case scenario: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, or death.
Ribs, Steak or Chicken Bones – yes, we all love barbecued ribs and other savory treats, but resist the urge to throw your dog a bone. All bones – especially when cooked – pose a danger to pets so any sort of bone treat requires strict supervision. From choking hazards, to splintering and causing a puncture to the digestive tract, there are too many dangers to pets. Bones can also break teeth – so always keep a close eye on your dog when chewing bones of any sort.
Fatty Foods – these are very hard on a dog’s intestines and can cause all sorts of tummy upsets, diarrhea and other icky things you do not want to have to contend with – the biggest danger of all is inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis – so skip the fatty stuff!
Guacamole – Avocado contains a toxic compound called persin that is very dangerous to birds, rabbits and horses, much less so for dogs, but enough to put it on our banned food list. It’ll cause tummy upset. Guacamole also contains garlic and onions which are toxic for dogs.
Grapes – while many fruits and veggies are fine for pets, grapes and raisins have been connected to dogs developing kidney failure. While some dogs can eat them and be fine, others might eat just a few and develop a life threatening toxic condition.
According to the ASPCA, dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually show symptoms like vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. Untreated, dogs will become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated and refuse to eat. They may also increase urination for a period, followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days. Dogs who survive acute raisin or grape toxicosis are likely to suffer long-term kidney disease.
Chocolate Desserts – chocolate can be fatally toxic to dogs, especially when it’s the sugar-free variety. Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol can lead to blood sugar levels dropping rapidly within a half hour of ingestion, which can lead to disorientation, seizures or liver failure which can be fatal.
Alcoholic Drinks – just a few ounces of beer or wine can be poisonous to a dog or cat, so be sure to clear away drinks that pets (or children) could get into.
If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t – give your vet a call. If it’s after hours, call an Emergency Vet location or the Pet Poison Hotline, which is open 24/7: 855.764.7661
A trip to the dog park is something that nearly every dog looks forward to! With the hot summer temperatures continuing well into September, it’s important to make sure your dog stays safe and well hydrated. AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some insights and things to consider when visiting the dog park.
Beware of Parvo exposure – keep pets away from feces, and always pick up and dispose of their poop – it’s just good dog park manners! Parvovirus is very contagious and a serious illness that can cause lifelong damage to the heart muscle or even kill your pet. Puppies, adolescent dogs and canines who are not vaccinated are most susceptible to the virus. Make certain your pets are current on all shots before they are exposed to other dogs. Symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and foul-smelly or bloody diarrhea.
Make sure your pet is not getting overheated and stays well-hydrated. Watch where they’re getting water – if it’s not fresh, it could be contaminated. Leptospirosis bacteria could be lurking!
Bring fresh water from home to the park along with a collapsible bowl, reusable bottle or other convenient receptacle. Keep it in the fridge and grab it just before you go – your dog will love the cool water on a hot day!
Be a good pet parent – this means being aware of your dog’s location at all times and ready to intervene if they’re acting aggressive or agitated.
Remember it’s a great way for you and your pet to get outside, meet new friends and have fun!
Did you know that dogs can get sunburned just like us? Everything from breed type, to hair length, to even hair color can impact sun safety for pets. From keeping them in the shade, to applying sunscreen and other sun-protection, AZPetVet’s Dr. John Graham shares some helpful tips on protecting your furry friends from the intense rays of the sun with Gina and the Your Life Arizona viewers.
There are a variety of ways to provide sun protection to your pets, but each is an individual, so you’ll need to find the right combination of protective measures that they’ll tolerate. For instance, doggy sun hats, sun glasses and sun suits are a great option for many dogs, but while some dogs are fine with clothing items and accessories, others hate them. It’s a trial and error situation, so test them out before you buy.
Always provide plenty of shade (and lots of fresh water) for pets that spend time outdoors. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight from around 9 am until 4 pm.
Remember, if the pavement is too hot for your hands or feet to touch, it’s too hot for their paws. Elevated beds with sun shades can help keep pets off the pavement and cooler.
Sunscreen – ask your vet about sunscreens formulated especially for pets. Caution – what’s safe for dogs may not be for cats. Ask your vet’s advice.
The areas on a dog that need the most protection are the nose, tips of ears, belly, the tip of the tail and, depending on the breed, the eyelids and around the mouth.
The first and most obvious sign of sunburn on a dog is redness of the skin. It will also be tender to the touch. Signs of dog sunburn to watch for:
Dry, cracked or curled edges on the ears
Skin ulcers and/or infected sores
Some dogs may run a slight fever
If your dog suffers from sunburn, it’s best to get them checked by the vet.