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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Excessive Meowing

Do you remember the old Disney classic, The Lady and the Tramp? There is a scene in the movie where the two mischievous Siamese cats sing about their antics, meowing after every line. Known for their abundant vocalization, Siamese and other Oriental breeds are notoriously noisy. Cat owners who choose those breeds usually understand in advance these cats’ proclivity to talk and enjoy the constant dialogue they have with their feline.

A Little Less Conversation

According to the ASPCA, adult cats don’t meow to communicate with one another—they meow to communicate with people. Adult cats communicate through scent, facial expression, body language, and touch. Their vocalizations include hissing, yowling, chirring, and shrieking but meowing is generally reserved for their youthful kitten days—and for us.

As touching as it is to be the focus of their meows, there are some cats that seem to be on a competitive mission, trying to see if they can set a new record for their excessive meowing. We all know that there are many reasons that cats meow. We expect a cat to meow when they are in heat, hungry, lonely, sick, or when they want your attention. But what about the cat that meows all the time?

Check it Out

The first rule of thumb is to take your vocal kitty to the veterinarian for a checkup. Her persistent meowing may be the only way she can communicate that something is wrong. Medical conditions, illness, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, hearing loss, and even old age can cause meowing to increase. Once any potential health issues have been ruled out, it’s time to try some behavior modification techniques.

Accentuate the Positive

You may be able to minimize an over-communicative cat through positive reinforcement. When your cat is quiet, praise her in a calm and quiet manner. Make sure you’re lavishing plenty of attention on your cat throughout the day and providing a regular schedule for mealtimes. Also, do not punish your cat for being overly vocal—that will only induce fear (and trigger more meowing) and may even enforce the behavior.

Eliminate the Negative

Try to determine what triggers meowing. Is your cat excited? Nervous? Anxious? Scared? If you can pinpoint the cause, your veterinarian may be able to help you control their behavior through medications. They may also recommend ways to disrupt excessive meowing such as intervening with a loud noise or using a quick squirt of water from a spray bottle.

Hopefully these tactics and tips will help you rule out any health issues, understand what your cat wants, and encourage your chatty kitty to become a little less like Lady and the Tramp’s Si and Am.

We’d love to hear your success stories! If you’ve found ways to encourage your vocal cat to be a little more quiet, we hope you’ll share your comments with us.

A Heroic Effort

dobson-ranch-az-pet-vet2On Thanksgiving, Frank Russo and Sonny, the 3 year-old Labrador Retriever he rescued two years earlier, were out for their regular neighborhood walk. Suddenly, Sonny ran into the street. Reacting quickly, Frank ran to catch him but it was too late—Sonny was hit by a car and the driver took off without even stopping. Sonny lay in the street whimpering quietly, puzzled by his pain and inability to walk.

Being a holiday, Frank wasn’t sure what his options for veterinary care would be. He knew, however, that paying for expensive treatment wasn’t feasible with his family’s limited budget. On top of that, Frank’s wife was in the hospital recovering from her own serious accident, one that resulted in most of her bones being broken and a devastating prognosis of never being able to walk again.

As a Vietnam veteran, Frank has faced his share of hardships. Disabled during the war, Frank was heartbroken by the thought of losing his faithful companion to a physical injury. Due to the location of the break, right next to Sonny’s hip, it was going to cost more than $5,000 to reconstruct and surgically restore his leg. A successful amputation of that severity would cost around $3,000. Feeling at a loss for options, Frank felt he had to put Sonny down.

Knowing what a difficult time this was for Frank, the veterinarians reached out to Freedom Tails Animal Rescue in Maricopa County to see what options they could provide to help Frank and Sonny. They responded immediately, creating an online fundraiser using social media sites like Facebook and YouCaring.com, and pointing him towards AZ Pet Vet and their family of hospitals for the surgery due to their generous military discount and no-interest payment arrangements.

dobson-ranch-az-pet-vetThe partnership was a huge success. Donations have been pouring in from around the country, raising $6,107 to date—more than enough funds to fully pay for the series of intensive surgeries required to completely reconstruct Sonny’s leg. Today, thanks to the generosity of strangers and the skillful AZ Pet Vet doctors, Sonny has a new lease on life and Frank has his buddy back by his side.

With 17 locations across the Phoenix Metro area and 24/7 availability, Arizona Pet Vet is your choice for comprehensive animal care. Our no interest, no credit check payment plans ensure that you never have to postpone treatment for your loved one. Click “Find Us” at the top of our page to find the location nearest you.

Read more about Sonny and Frank’s Story

The Animals’ Christmas

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the revelries of the season and not give much thought to our pets. As you prepare for the holidays, here are a few considerations to make sure the season is a joyful event for you both.


Deck the Halls
Glittering glass ornaments, shimmering tinsel, and shiny decorations may give your home a warm, holiday glow. They can also be irresistibly tempting to animals. Do a careful assessment of your home prior to bringing out all the decorations and make sure that you choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes. They may look harmless to us, but a shard of glass from an ornament or a stray piece of tinsel from the tree can cause irreparable internal damage to your pet.

O Christmas Tree
The safest place for your Christmas tree is in a room that’s off limits to your pet. If that’s not feasible, situate it in a corner that you can block off with a play fence or other obstruction. Pine needles (real and artificial) can seriously injure your pet if they are ingested. You also want to keep your pet away from the water for your live Christmas tree as they may be getting a dose of tree fertilizer or other harmful chemicals with their drink.

Make sure that your electrical wires are tucked out of sight and that ornaments and lights are placed well out of reach for your curious pet’s paws. Christmas lights can get extremely hot, giving your dog or cat a bad little burn if they venture over to sniff or touch them.

Holly Jolly Christmas
Holly, mistletoe, and Christmas lilies look deceptively nice. When it comes to being safe for pets, they all belong on the naughty list. Their festive foliage can cause serious medical problems from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues. Play it safe and opt for artificial holiday arrangements instead.

Here Comes Santa Claus
Who can resist the sight of gifts piled beneath the tree? Make sure that those beautifully wrapped presents are kept out of your pet’s reach, especially during gift opening time. From Styrofoam peanuts and plastic packaging to batteries, candy, and shiny twist ties, there’s a tantalizing treasure trove of temptation for your pet. With everyone’s attention diverted with presents and celebrations, you may want to have your pet wait in another room on Christmas morning to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest something harmful.

Joy to the World
The holiday season can be a stressful time for your pet. From holiday parties and gift-wrapping to unannounced carolers and visits from “Santa,” your pet can become a little anxious amidst all the merriment. Try to keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible, making time for daily walks and play even when your schedule gets busy. Some pets appreciate having a quiet room to retreat into when guests arrive—plan ahead by making them stocking their safe haven with a comfortable place to sleep, a few toys, and a bowl of fresh water.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
With a few simple precautions, you can turn your holidays into a joyful and safe season for all. Don’t forget to make it truly memorable by picking up a little something special for your favorite furry friend! (Check out our holiday gift guide for ideas.) Happy Holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide for Pets

holiday dog and cat
Over 53% of pet owners will purchase presents for their pets this holiday season. With the holidays fast approaching, don’t wait until the last minute to find that perfect gift for your faithful furry and feathered companions.

Here’s a roundup of some of the hottest pet gifts for the holidays:

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Top Dog
The Company Store has adorable bandana collars that will have your dog stepping out in style. With playful fabrics like Moroccan Tile and Sea Glass and stylish brass hardware, they will appeal to your sense of fashion as well as your pooch. Looking for something a bit more traditional? Red Envelope has personalized Wildebeest bandana collars in standard triangle form to give your dog that playful outlaw look.

Who can resist the Waterhog Pet Placemat from LL Bean? Personalized with your pet’s name, the heavy duty, mildew resistant, quick-drying mat comes in four colors and is smartly designed with ridged borders to keep food and water off the floor.

When it comes pet beds, the Snoozer Luxury Sofa gets our vote. The easy-to-wash designer fabric, available in four different colors, will have your dog lounging in style. The memory foam cushioning soothes arthritic joints and comforts young puppies, providing both with a comfortable place to relax (giving you the sofa back to yourself!).

Looking for treats and toys? Capture the holiday spirit with Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Bulb. Available in multiple sizes, this minty Christmas-bulb styled toy will keep your dog entertained for hours as they work to extract their hidden treats. The Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Dog Toy and Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball also top the list, keeping your dog stimulated mentally while whetting their appetite for food and fun. You can adjust the difficulty as your dog learns and both toys reward your pet’s playful efforts with treats, making these gifts that truly keep on giving.

Cat Scratch Fever
The Cat DJ Scratching Deck will have your cat mixing tracks like a pro. At the very least, it will save your sofa from being torn to shreds. For a more modern flair, check out the PetFusion Cat Scratcher Deluxe Lounge. This reversible, eco-friendly lounge and scratcher boasts naturally alluring curves that no cat can resist.

If you haven’t seen the Fling-ama-String, you (and your cat) are in for a treat! This automated toy hangs from a doorknob or hook and tantalizes your cat with a constantly moving, rotating, retracting string. With adjustable speeds and an elastic belt to secure the base to the door, it is sure to transform even the laziest cat into a frisky feline.

Small Surprises
Why should dogs and cats have all the fun? The Talk ‘N Play cell phone will keep your bird talking through the day. With pre-recorded messages and an organic mirror, they will be expanding their vocabulary quicker than you can say, “pretty bird.” For the more athletic types, the Nature’s Instinct Birdie Basketball and Training Gym will give your bird an ultimate workout, rewarding each of their slam dunks with a treat. They can lift weights, climb agility rings, and even swing on this all-in-one small bird gym.

The Super Pet Puzzle Playground is a 42-piece interlocking jungle gym that will amuse even the most adventurous pocket pets. Connectable to CritterTrail habitats, this snap-lock style playground can be configured in countless ways, creating endless entertainment options. And for the truly pampered, you won’t want to miss the Super Pet Dazzle Hamster Exercise Carriage. In true Cinderella style, this four-wheeled exercise carriage looks like it came straight from fairy tale land. With stationary and mobile settings and a variety of carriage colors, this is a dream come true for your little prince or princess.

We hope this list gives you a few ideas to start your holiday shopping season. Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite holiday gift for your pet?