Tag Archives: veterinary services Peoria

National Walk Your Dog Month

National Walk Your Dog Month is your New Year’s Resolution with a twist! If you’re like most people, your annual list of resolutions included goals like ‘lose weight’ and ‘get healthy’. If you’re really like most people, that resolution is fading fast, so it’s time to act.

Pet parents can take a step towards achieving these goals simply by grabbing the dog leash and asking, “Wanna go for a walk?”

OMG! OMG! WALK! GO! GO! NOW! 

The sheer joy and unleashed excitement of your pet’s reaction will have you smiling and laughing while their tails are wagging.

The entire ritual of preparing for, and then going on the walk will not only boost your mood, but also help release your body cortisol and endorphins associated with positive health benefits like:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced pain & stress
  • Strengthened immune system

All this begins before you even get outdoors!  Happily, Arizona’s winter weather is usually pleasantly warm and sunny, so enjoy the time you have in cooler months – get out and explore.

Once you, Max, and Bella (Rover’s top pet names for 2017) are outside, take the time to really connect with the world around you. Dogs love to follow their noses, so try to allow them some leeway without losing control. During your journey, they’ll want to sniff out who’s been around recently, and leave a little dog graffiti here and there (don’t forget your poop bags). 

Regular exercise helps burn off excess energy that can lead to undesirable behaviors like chewing, scratching or digging. A bonus is there should be a lot less whining or barking for attention. But make no mistake, they will keep you on track by reminding you when it’s time to for your walk. Dogs thrive under regular routines, and so can you.

Best of all? You’ll both lose weight and get healthier.

How to Choose a Good Quality Dog Food

Good pet nutrition is a great subject to kick off the new year. Choosing a dog food can be overwhelming with so many varieties on the market.

How do you determine what is the healthiest choice for your dog?

Here are some tips that can help you find the best quality food for your pooch.

Read the Ingredients Label: No matter what the age of your pet, you’re going to want to see some specific things in the ingredients to be certain it’s a good quality food. In pet foods, the ingredients are listed by weight/quantity – so the the first few ingredients will comprise the bulk of the food.

The first ingredients should alway include some form of named animal protein like beef, chicken, lamb, or fish. Caution: avoid ‘meat by-products or poultry by-products’ as these are usually manufactured from low-cost parts that could come from any number of sources. If a listing includes ‘meal’ – a named type such as beef meal or chicken meal is better than ‘meat meal’.

Whole Vegetables, Fruits & Grains: Like humans, dogs get nutritional benefits from whole foods. Good quality dog food formulas will include added essential vitamins and minerals derived from legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains or meat. For those who prefer to leave grain out of the mix by choice or necessity due to diet sensitivities, there are many high quality grain-free foods on the market.

Quality Fats & Oils: A balanced diet provides about 10-15% fat, and promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat. Fats provide energy, add taste and flavor to foods, as well as aid in the absorption of certain vitamins. Quality fats used in dog foods include poultry fat, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and fish oil. Avoid foods with a generic ‘animal fat’ listing as they can come from less than desirable sources.

Choose a Food for Your Pet’s Particular Size, Activity Levels & Life Stage: The nutritional needs of a puppy are quite different from an adult or senior dog. In addition, the size, activity levels of the dog can also be important. Some pet foods are formulated to meet the dietary needs of a specific breed. For example – a breed that’s susceptible to joint problems might benefit from a food that includes vitamins and minerals that help strengthen bones.

What to Avoid: Say no to artificial colors, flavors and preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin. Look for natural preservatives, such as tocopherols (forms of vitamin E), vitamin C, and rosemary extract instead. Watch out for added sugar or artificial sweeteners! Dogs love sweet things too, and these are often added to foods to coax dogs to eat sub-standard foods. 

Note the Important Dates on the Bag: Natural preservatives mean the food has a shorter shelf life than those using artificial preservatives. Look for the freshest products by checking the date of manufacture and ‘best by’ dates.

New Years Resolutions for Pet Owners

This year, I resolve to:

Make sure my pets are up to date on all their vaccinations, and that they are micro-chipped for their safety.

Make sure my pets are eating high quality food and treats.

Make an effort to brush my pet’s teeth regularly.

Take regular walks or trips to the dog park.

Take time out to play with my pets each day, even when I don’t feel like it.

Make sure my pets know how much I love them, every single day.

From our family to yours – Happy New Year! – AZ Pet Vet

Giving Pets as Holiday Gifts – Yes or No?

We’ve all seen the videos of children being surprised by the gift of a puppy or kitten on Christmas. While they’re heartwarming and fun to watch, they only capture a moment in time. The reality of giving a pet as a present must take into account training and quality family time, daily exercise, veterinary care, food, shelter, and toys. It all adds up to a big commitment.

Pets can provide years of love and joy, however, companion animals need more than just food and water – they need to be loved, cared for and respected as a member of the family.

Be sure to consider the lifestyle of the person before giving an animal.

Be sure to consider the financial resources of the person before giving an animal.

Be sure to consider the living arrangements and/or rental agreements of the person before giving an animal. Not everyone has the space or the ability to keep an animal comfortably.

Be sure to consider the temperament and exercise needs of the animal before giving a person an animal.

If you believe you know someone that can and will provide all of these things for the lifetime of the animal, then by all means, adopt an animal from a shelter and make two lives merrier.

If you decide to give an animal as a gift, an easy way to make their day is to wrap up a picture of the animal and include some items that your lucky recipient will need: food, feeding bowls, toys, etc. Make arrangements to pick up the new pet after the holiday rush if possible, as it will be easier on everyone, especially the pet.

Above all else: remember not everyone is prepared for the lifetime commitment of a pet. Many “Christmas gift animals” are returned to the shelter, or even worse, abandoned.

Want to help animals? Donate food, toys, litter and blankets to your local shelter, or drop them off at any AZ Pet Vet location until December 31, 2017.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Safety for Pets

The holiday season can be a stressful time for your pet – and a dangerous one.

From parties and gift-wrapping to unannounced carolers and visits from “Santa,” your pet can become a little anxious amidst all the merriment, or tempted by all the wonderful foods and treats. Here are a few things you can do to make sure the season is a joyful event for the whole family.

Holiday Plant Hazards: Be extra careful with amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly and poinsettias. Festive foliage can cause serious medical problems for pets, ranging from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues.

Festive Decorations: Sure, glittering glass ornaments, shimmering tinsel, and shiny decorations give your home a warm, holiday glow. They can also be irresistibly tempting to animals. While they may look harmless, a shard of glass from an ornament or a stray piece of tinsel from the tree can cause irreparable internal damage to your pet. Make sure that you choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes. 

Gifts and gift wrappingMake 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 treasure trove of temptation for your pet. With everyone’s attention diverted with presents and celebrations, consider keeping your pet in another room on Christmas morning to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest something harmful.

Try to Keep Up Your RoutineTry to keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible, making time for daily walks and play even when your schedule gets busy. Many pets appreciate having a quiet room to retreat into when guests arrive—so be sure to plan ahead by creating a safe haven with a comfortable place to sleep, a few toys, and a bowl of fresh water.

Keep your pets’ tags and contact information up to date. Holiday activities provide a lot of opportunities for pets to escape from your home, so be certain your pet is wearing their collar with tags at all times. If they are not micro-chipped, make an appointment to have it done.

Keep pet friendly treats at hand. Chocolate is always abundant over the holidays. Remember, chocolate is NOT good for your dog or cat. It’s toxic. People food is also a HUGE temptation for companion animals – be sure to block access to cookies, candies and other people treats. If you can’t resist their pleading eyes , it’s OK give your pet a small treat. Just remember, “people foods” should be avoided they can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea or worse. Many people foods are even toxic to animals. Limit table scraps, and make sure your guests know not to share their food with your pets.

Be prepared for an emergency. Keep your vet’s number and the animal poison control center posted on the refrigerator or where you can easily find it. If an emergency arises, you’ll be glad you did.

Keep this number handy: Pet Poison Control Hotline: (888) 426-4435

Happy Holidays from the entire AZ Pet Vet family!