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Monthly Archives: September 2014

World Rabies Day – 9/28

World Rabies Day, the 28th of September each year, was created to both inspire activism and raise awareness against the disease.

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What is Rabies?
– Rabies is a viral disease that infects the central nervous system and causes inflammation of the brain.

How does it spread?
– Typically the disease is spread to humans by other warm-blooded animals; most commonly found in bats in Europe, North America, and Australia, and in dogs in Asia and Africa.

Symptoms?
– The first symptoms in humans are very flu-like, and can present themselves in 2 to 10 weeks. Symptoms may progress to include anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, and sometimes even hydrophobia (the fear of water).

Prevention?
– A simple vaccine from your vet will help ensure the health of you and your pet. Dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and others should be vaccinated.

Have questions? Contact your local AZ Pet Vet hospital location today!

It’s National Dog Week!

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Dogs are special, so why not celebrate National Dog Week by doing something special for your furry friends? Here are some ideas:

1/ Dogs love getting outside to explore the world and experience all the sights, smells and sounds. Whether it’s a walk on the leash or a run at the dog park, make a promise to take your dog out. It’s good for you both!

2/ Make time for play – take a few minutes each day to bond with your dog through play time. Tug of war, fetch, and other games help keep your dog alert and happy.

3/ Make sure they stay healthy by scheduling a visit to the vet. Dogs need regular healthcare and shots to protect them from disease. If you’re not sure about immunizations, make an appointment today.

4/ Treat your dog to a professional grooming session. Baths and grooming can be challenging with dogs. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium – they either love the attention or hate it with a passion. A professional grooming can help with more difficult items like teeth cleaning, nail clipping and anal gland evacuation (don’t try this at home – it’s icky – trust us).

5/ Take a pet portrait – whether you plan for a formal or informal portrait/photo session, make sure you have exercised your dog beforehand so he or she is not bouncing all over the place. If you’re the photographer, you know it can be next to impossible to get your pet to look at the camera when you want them to do so. One good trick is to hold a treat in your hand at the same level and direction you want them to look. They’ll be focused on the treat while you snap the photo – and they get a reward for their focus!

6/ New toys and treats are always exciting! Why not combine the two? There is a wide range of interactive toys that have compartments for treats. Your dog will have to work to get the treat, keeping them engaged and occupied for hours at a time.

7/ Have a pet party! Invite your friends and neighbors to bring their dogs for a pet party – with plenty of fresh treats and lots of toys to play with, the dogs are bound to have a blast!

8/ Visit a pet day care center – if you’ve never tried day care, it’s time to do it, especially if you are gone for long periods of time. Day care offers your dog the chance to visit and play with others the same size and temperament, and can be surprisingly affordable.
9/ Order a monthly delivery of treats, toys and accessories. There is a wide range of subscription services for dogs including BarkBox, PetBox, Spoiled Rotten and BestFriendBox and many others. Rates are based on animal size or services, and offer great value. Find yours HERE.

10/ Don’t have a dog? Adopt one from a shelter today.

Don’t Forget – It’s Elephant Appreciation Day

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From cave paintings of the wooly mammoth and mastadon (close relatives) to the ancient menageries and war elephants of Egypt, China, Greece and Rome, to the modern pages of National Geographic to the animated Disney classic Dumbo, these fascinating creatures have delighted and terrified people through the ages.

Elephants are the earth’s largest mammals. The two recognized species are the African and Asian (AKA Indian) elephant, and they are both considered vulnerable or endangered due to serious declines in population over the past 60-70 years. The main difference between the species lies in their size and eating habits. While both are herbivores, the African elephants are largely browsers, feeding off of leaves, shoots and fruits growing high off the ground. Asian elephants tend to be grazers, feeding off grasses and low vegetation.

Physically, the African elephant is larger than its Asian counterpart. African elephants stand anywhere from 10 – 13 feet high and weigh between 8,800 and 15,400 pounds. Asian elephants stand from 7 – 11 feet high and weight between 6,600 and 11,000 pounds. In both species, males (bulls) are larger than females (cows). African elephants also have 21 pairs of ribs compared to 19-20 in the Asian variety, and there are other physical differences found in their tusks, pigmentation, wrinkles, toenails and humps/no humps on the forehead.

Studies of elephant behavior show that elephants are self-aware, and they also form close relationships. While scientists debate the depth of awareness, elephants also demonstrate a wide range of emotions like happiness, sadness, grief, loneliness, and anger. They cry when they are upset, and trumpet when they are happy. Elephants kept isolated from others (usually in zoos) often become depressed. Signs of depression include repetitive movements like rocking or swaying back and forth.

Female elephants live in tightly knit herds or families led by a matriarch, usually the oldest female, plus two or three other females and their offspring. The matriarch role usually continues until the elephant’s death and then passes to the eldest daughter. Female groups will tend to interact with other family groups and during certain seasons of the year they will cluster together to form clans. Young elephants are all raised within this female-led group environment.

Once males are approaching maturity (around age 15), they begin to spend less time with their family group. Their female relatives begin to treat them more aggressively, and upon maturity, they eventually they leave for good. Male elephants live alone or in groups of other males. Groups are only found among African bush elephants, and these are led by the most dominant older male/bull. The older males work to control aggression in the younger males in order to prevent them from forming gangs that may challenge leadership.

Sadly, loss of habitats due to human development of lands traditionally occupied by elephants along with continued poaching and killing of the animals for their ivory tusks and feet have greatly decimated the population of both the African and Asian species. Only through careful conservation efforts and the support of humans will these beautiful animals survive the challenges of the modern world.

For more information, visit http://www.elephantconservation.org/

Interested in learning more about famous elephants in history?

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_individual_elephants

The Alaskan Husky

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Thinking about getting a new dog? How about an Alaskan Husky?

Alaskan Huskies tend to vary greatly in personality as much as in color and appearance. However, generally speaking, the Alaskan Husky is a very affectionate dog, bred to cuddle with other dogs as much as with people. The Alaskan puppy will often walk right up to a strange dog and attempt to instigate a cuddle session.

Remember, they are incredibly athletic and keeping up with the Alaskan Husky energy level is a demanding task. These dogs are not suited to an urban apartment lifestyle as they need a constant source of exercise, and due to their amazing endurance, never seem to get tired.

Also, Alaskan Huskies, like Siberian Huskies, tend to wander. They are loyal insofar as they know who their pack is, but with their incredible speed and fierce independence, the Alaskan will not stick close when off-leash.

The Alaskan Husky is an adventurer and is usually very comfortable with car rides and breaking out of old routines. Alaskans tend to “jump up” on people but they are generally very good with other dogs and gentle with people.

They are ferocious eaters and can be food fixated. These dogs are happy to live outside as much as inside with their owners. But here’s a tip: don’t leave an Alaskan outside in a manicured lawn, they love to dig.

‘Purrrrr’sian Cats (okay, Persian…)

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Are you familiar with Persian Cats? Persians are perfect companions, if you like placid, sweet-tempered cats. Don’t count on using your Persian pal as a furry doorstop, however. They love to play between periods of regal lounging on your favorite davenport. Proponents say that Persians do not deserve their ‘furniture with fur’ reputation, they are intelligent, just not as inquisitive as some breeds, and not as active.