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Stop Procrastinating – Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day

Cat vet visitAccording to CatFriendly.com, 83 percent of cats make a visit to the vet during their first year. We believe 100 percent is a goal worth working for, however, there’s a problem much bigger than that 17 percent gap.

More than 50 percent of the kitties that got those important checkups and vaccinations before age one won’t see a vet again until they’re sick or in pain. Fifty percent.

Why Postponing the Vet Visit is a BAD Idea

Regular Checkups Make Purr-fect Sense and Help Lower the Lifetime Cost of Care

Domesticated cats also tend to be indoor cats, so their potential exposure to diseases carried by other animals or pests is lower than that of an outdoor or feral cat. This decreased risk somehow translates into fewer vet visits. This is NOT the way to go about keeping pets healthy.

Here’s why: Cats are notorious for hiding when they’re not feeling well or in pain. In fact, they’ve practically perfected the art of hiding potentially harmful symptoms until they can’t any longer.

Regular wellness checkups can help your vet detect health changes in your cat. Early detection means problems can be treated BEFORE they become chronic health conditions that may require potentially expensive treatment.

Benefits of Routine Wellness Checks for Cats

So consider this your reminder: today is National BRING YOUR CAT TO THE VET DAY. While you’re thinking about it, call your vet and book the appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

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Fleas & Disease – How to Keep Your Pets Safe

“Health officials are urging people to take precautions after a second Arizona county in two weeks confirmed that fleas in the area have tested positive for plague.

The announcement by Navajo County Public Health officials on Friday comes one week after Coconino County officials found prairie dogs in the area to be carrying fleas with the plague — the infectious disease infamous for killing millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages.

People are advised to take certain measures to reduce the risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed on these animals.

The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.”

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From the Center for Disease Control:

  • All ill animals, especially cats, should be seen by a veterinarian.
  • If you live in areas where plague occurs, treat pet dogs and cats for flea control regularly and do not allow these animals to roam freely.
  • Make your home rodent-proof. Eliminate sources of food and nesting places for rodents around homes, work places, and recreation areas; remove brush, rock piles, junk, cluttered firewood, and potential food supplies, such as pet and wild animal food.
  • Pet owners: do not pick up or touch dead animals.

What to Do When a Pet Gets Fleas

Step 1: Treat the pet’s environment. You must kill fleas and ticks where they live when they’re not on your pet. Hire a professional exterminator. Be sure to explain that you have a flea or tick problem and that you have pets.

Step 2: Kill fleas and ticks that are on your pet. When used as directed, flea and tick control products are safe and effective at preventing re-infestation of your pet. There are several excellent products available for cats and dogs. Ask your vet for a product recommendation that will be suitable for your pet.

Step 3: Prevent re-infection. Treatment with a product like Frontline Top Spot will kill and repel ticks for one month, and fleas for up to three months. Use Frontline Top Spot topical treatment on dogs as young as ten weeks of age and cats as young as twelve weeks of age. Pet beds, carpets, blankets and other items must also be sanitized to kill any eggs that may be hiding.

Step 4: Break the reproductive cycle of fleas. In the past, controlling fleas and ticks has been difficult, however, new products are available which make external parasite control manageable. Your vet can recommend a safe and effective product for your pet.

Remember – fleas and ticks are NOT just summer time problems. While it does get cool enough during the winter to decrease flea and tick activity, it does not get cold enough to kill them. Fleas and ticks can live very happily indoors during the winter months, so be aware and check your pets frequently year round.

Questions or concerns? Talk to your veterinarian.

Five Fun Ways to Celebrate Spoil Your Dog Day

Everyone needs a little reminder of how special they are once in a while.

National Spoil Your Dog Day gives us an opportunity to let our pups know just how much they mean to us!

Here are five fun ways to celebrate and spoil your pups (without spoiling them too much).

1/ PLAYTIME! Take a few minutes and take your pup outside to play, or grab their favorite toy and just play together. You’ll have important bonding time, plus pups of all ages love the extra attention and the chance to play.

2/ GO FOR A WALK! Get outside and take a walk around the neighborhood or the local park. You’ll love the fresh air, and pups will find all the new sights and smells interesting and exciting.

3/ BELLY RUBS! Get right down on the floor and really connect with your dog through a good, long belly rub. Most dogs love to have their belly rubbed – need proof? Watch their expressions!

4/ GO FOR A RIDE IN THE CAR! Make rides in the car a treat for your pup. Leave the window down a bit so they can sniff the air and check out the sights, sounds and smells. Bonus: take them to Starbucks for a Puppacino or a local store to shop for treats or toys.

5/ HEALTHY TREATS. The ultimate for every pet has to be treats. Choose healthy low calorie dog biscuits, baby carrots, apples or green beans. Many dogs also love fruits like blueberries, strawberries, frozen banana, and watermelon. As always, moderation is key.

National Vaccine Awareness Month

Vaccinations are an important part of staying healthy – and that’s true for both people and pets. In order to protect our furry friends from common disease and health conditions, make certain your pets are up to date on all their vaccinations. 

Core vaccines are considered vital for all dogs and cats. If your pet is a homebody with little contact with wildlife or other dogs and cats, a simple “core” vaccine should be sufficient to protect them from the most common diseases. Non-core vaccines like those against Lyme disease or Coronavirus would be appropriate for cats and dogs that regularly come into contact with other animals and wildlife or live in/travel to areas where these are a concern.

In order to build strong immunity, all dogs and cats should receive their first shots at 5-6 weeks of age, with boosters every 2-3 weeks until age 12-16 weeks. Adult animals with an unknown vaccination history should receive core vaccinations and boosters 3 weeks after the initial dose is administered. Your vet can recommend the proper vaccinations and schedule for your pet.

CORE IMMUNIZATIONS FOR CATS

FVRCP – Core vaccine that protects from Feline Viral Rhinotrachetitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia. Recommended for kittens at least 6 weeks old, with boosters three-four weeks apart until the kitten is 16 weeks. A booster at age 1-2 is recommended. After the series is completed, boosters should be administered every three years.

FHV- FCV– Feline herpes virus and calicivirus are core vaccines. Adolescent and adult cats should receive two doses, administered three to four weeks apart, a booster after one year, and then every three years.

Rabies: All kittens should receive a rabies vaccine at 8-12 weeks of age, then an annual booster. Cats with unknown vaccination histories should receive the rabies vaccination followed by an annual booster. After the series is completed, boosters should be administered every three years.

CORE IMMUNIZATIONS FOR DOGS

5 weeks: Parvovirus

6 & 9 weeks: Combination core vaccine against canine distemper, canine hepatitis, adenovirus cough (kennel cough), parainfluenza, and parvovirus.

12 weeks & older: Rabies vaccine.

12 & 15 weeks: Combination core vaccine plus leptospirosis. Coronavirus and Lyme disease – only if you’re living in or will be taking your pet traveling/visiting an area where these are a concern. Bordatella vaccine.

Adult annual vaccinations: Combination core vaccine against canine distemper, adenovirus cough, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis. Coronavirus and Lyme disease – only if you’re living in or will be taking your pet traveling/visiting an area where these are a concern. Rabies vaccines may be given in 1-year or 3-year cycles.

Check Out the AZ Pet Vet FREE Vaccines For Life Program