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Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you’re thinking of getting a dog, please bypass breeders and pet stores in favor of local shelters.

Every year in the United States there are up to 4 million animals of all ages in shelters waiting to be adopted.

Tragically, most of them will not find loving homes, and they will be euthanized.

The Greater Phoenix Metro area has dozens of wonderful rescue organizations, including breed specific rescues, many with low adoption fees. The Maricopa County Animal Control Center regularly holds events with low to no fee adoption. A quick Google search for ‘Arizona Dog Rescue’ will give you a list of possibilities to explore.

So when you’re looking for your next pet, don’t shop – rescue! Who knows? You may find the love of your life. And that’s a great bargain at any price.

June is National Adopt a Cat Month

Cat lookingEach day, millions of homeless cats of all ages are waiting for their forever families to find them. Sadly, thousands will be euthanized each day. June is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Cat month and the ASPCA’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month, so if you’ve been thinking about adding a feline friend to your family it’s a good time to review some key points before bringing a new kitty home.

While it’s exciting for us, remember, it’s a stressful time for your new cat or kitten. Cats are territorial animals, so they’re most likely going to be confused and scared until they settle in. It’s a process, but we know it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few tips for new kitties:

Provide a Safe, Confined Space: New kitties need safe space like a laundry room, spare bedroom or bathroom to live in while they’re adjusting to their new surroundings. A cozy bed, cardboard box or cat carrier can provide a sense of safety for your new friend, but remember, your kitty needs to be able to stand up and turn around easily. Give them access to plenty of food, fresh water and a clean litter box with an inch or two of litter in the room , but be sure to keep the litter box away from their food. Nobody wants to have dinner next to their toilet, no matter how clean it’s kept.

Patience is Key: It might take a week or two for your new cat or kitten to feel safe enough to come out and explore, but they’ll let you know when they’re ready. if you have other pets in the home, keep them separated from the newcomer and introduce them slowly. Don’t push things. They will be very aware of each other’s presence – a baby gate can help keep boundaries intact. Always keep dogs leashed when they’re meeting the newest family member. Correct them immediately with a command like “Sit!” or “Stay!” if they show any signs of jealousy or threatening behavior. Be extra careful with small children – they can get overexcited and squeeze or pet too roughly, causing the cat to struggle, scratch or bite out of fear.

Dealing with the Claw Factor: Sharp claws can do lots of damage. Anyone who’s ever had a cat run up their body, climb the drapes, or decide to systematically shred the furniture can tell you. With a little encouragement (and maybe a dash of catnip), you can direct their attention to a scratching post or cat tree. Try using some soft nail caps to help discourage them if they’re persistent – if they can’t get a grip on the fabric, they’ll lose interest. If they’re still favoring furniture for sharpening their claws, try a using protective cover or tinfoil (they hate it).

As a general rule, we do not recommend declawing cats. It should only be considered as a last resort as it’s a serious and painful operation, or in very rare cases where it is medically necessary because someone is the house is at high risk for an infection if scratched by the cat. Even worse, declawing can create more serious problems like reluctance to use the litter box because it’s painful for them. Regular trims can help keep claws from digging into people and possessions. We suggest a professional groomer.

Book a Wellness Visit: Your vet will carefully examine your new pet, give them any vaccinations, and advise you on good preventive care routine (including periodic dental cleanings) to keep them healthy and happy longer. Find an Arizona Pet Vet location near you.

Here’s a Tip: Get the Chip

shutterstock_505654414Sometime, 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.

It’s National Puppy Day!

National Puppy Day

There’s nothing quite like a puppy to cheer you up (unless you’re team cat all the way). Since it’s National Puppy Day, here are five things we love about puppies!

1/ Puppies are CUTE! Seriously, who can resist their little faces?

2/ Puppy Breath! Sweet and milky, no stinky plaque or tartar. 

3/ Puppies are adorably clumsy. They’ll keep you laughing.

4/ Puppies are like therapists in a fur suit. They’re natural stress relievers.

5/ They’re PUPPIES!!! Find one, and give them some love today.

Spay Day USA – Please, No Littering

please spay and neuter petsRemember this old riddle?
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?

While the riddle is a trick question (the answer is in the first line), it paints a pretty effective picture of how quickly cats (and dogs) can breed and multiply on their own. In fact, each year in the United States, millions of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats will be euthanized.

Spay Day USA was created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 to bring attention to the increasingly serious problem of pet overpopulation, and to encourage animal population control through responsible spaying and neutering. There are also compelling health benefits for pets.

Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

According to the ASPCA, spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

Have a new pet? We offer affordable spay and neuter services along with puppy and kitten health plans. Find your nearest AZPetVet location here.