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Morris Foundation for Animals Golden Retriever Research
University Animal Hospital Nominated for Small Business of the Year in Tempe!
Tempe Chamber of Commerce Finalist Award University Animal Hospital
University Animal Hospital Celebrating 50 Years of Accreditation 

Potential Dental Problems

Many people wonder why dogs and cats need to get their teeth cleaned and often think it is somewhat unnecessary. But just like humans, regular check-ups are important to prevent many different diseases and problems from occurring. Keep reading to find out more about these risks.

Did you know adult dogs have 42 teeth? In order for all of these adult teeth to be healthy, and grow in properly, all of the baby teeth need to be lost or removed. If they aren’t, these baby teeth can cause severe irritation, gum disease and tartar buildup.

Another issue that can arise if your pet doesn’t have their teeth cleaned regularly is bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bad breath is common to a certain extent, but if it becomes something that is too overwhelming to handle, it could be a sign that your dog or cat is developing dental disease. One of the problems that can come from bad breath is gingivitis, which is irritation, inflammation and bleeding of the gums. Often times, if caught early on, gingivitis can be reversed.

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Yet another level of dental disease that comes from the previous two mentioned is periodontitis. This is what happens when gingivitis goes untreated, and just becomes worse and worse, causing even more gum irritation and tarter build up that spreads into the bones and delicate tissues.

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If a dog’s mouth is not kept clean, tumors can also form. Something that you might think is a tumor (but often isn’t) is something called salivary mucocele, which is a large fluid filled sack inside the dog’s mouth or around its neck. It is caused by inflammation or damage to the salivary glands.

Your pets are often very good at hiding pain, so you may not even know that there is a problem until it is serious. Here at University Animal Hospital, we think your pet’s oral health is just as important as the rest of their health. Make an appointment on our website or call 480-968-9275 and bring your pet in for a teeth cleaning!

Dental Month!

February is Dental Month here at UAH and we take pride in your pets oral health. Stop in during the month of February to get 20% off all dental treatments.

Playing With Your Dog When Short on Time

Every dog’s favorite time of the day is playtime! We love it too, but sometimes we are short on time and can’t give them enough exercise or play time. It’s still important to get them moving. Without physical activity, dogs can become bored and stressed out. It’s time to make the most of your day with your dog!

Plan Your Playtime

If you’re someone who has to stay organized, planning out your week could keep daily exercise on track. For instance, if you know you’ll be busy with work one night, plan to wake up early and get your dog moving. Take them for an early morning walk, or plan to make it home a little earlier to get them outside for play time.

Think Outside the Box

If you go to the same place for walks, or a game of fetch, you and your dog are probably growing bored of it! Research new paths, or parks that you can easily get to. This will be stimulating for both of you, as well as an opportunity to find a new favorite spot.

Make it FUN

Going on a quick walk is great when you’re strapped for time, but when you have more time you should try something new. One of our favorite things to is let your dog walk YOU. Get the leash out and let your dog take you where he wants to go. If your dog could use a challenge when it comes to physical activity, look into agility classes. This involves jumping and quickly completing an obstacle course.

Mental Exercise

A dog’s mind should stay stimulated, just like yours. Try teaching them new tricks every once in awhile. This will keep them sharp and curb boredom. If you need more help training your dog, or questions, read our blog about Dog Training.

Daily exercise is a time for you and your dog to bond. However, it doesn’t have to be a chore! Keep organized and make sure you have time set aside every day for a walk, or a game of fetch. If you have any questions, you can call us at 480-968-9275 or visit our website.

Healthy and Safe Ingredients for Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade treats are a great way to control what goes into your pet’s diet, cater to any unique dietary restrictions, and limit the intake of fat and calories. Homemade pet treats are also healthier alternatives to many commercial brand dog treats, which are often filled with unhealthy additives, preservatives, fillers, and byproducts. Furthermore, your beloved pet will appreciate the variety and fresh flavors.

Many recipes for healthy dog treats contain pantry staples, saving you time on an extra grocery store run. However, before hitting the kitchen, it’s important to understand which foods are beneficial to dogs and which can be toxic.

 

Foods to Avoid in Homemade Dog Treats

Xylitol: One of the most common ingredients in our sugar-free foods, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. When ingested in fairly small amounts, this artificial sweetener can cause low blood sugar, seizures, and liver failure, possibly leading to death. This can’t be stressed enough – avoid all sugar-free foods and artificial sweeteners when making pet treats!

Chocolate: Most pet owners are aware that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. All chocolate, except white, is toxic to dogs, but the recent surge in popularity of potent dark chocolate has increased this risk even more. Toxic doses can lead to abnormal heartbeats, kidney failure, and death. Small dogs are more at risk.

Grapes and Raisins: Ingesting grapes and raisins has fairly recently been found to cause kidney failure in some animals. It doesn’t appear to correlate with the volume ingested, nor are all animals are equally susceptible. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid grapes and raisins altogether.

Onions: While tasty to dogs, ingesting high levels of onions or onion powder can lead to changes in red blood cells and anemia. Again, it’s best to play it safe and steer clear of onions.

 

Healthy Ingredients for Homemade Pet Treats

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is full of healthy antioxidants and vitamins C and E. These help with cataracts and heart problems in animals. Pumpkin is also great for weight loss and digestion.

Peanut Butter: Dogs love peanut butter, and this healthy snack is beneficial for them, too. It is full of protein, vitamins B and E, niacin, and heart-healthy fats. Make sure you pick raw, unsalted peanut butter, while avoiding sugar-free, or “light”, peanut butter.

Yogurt: Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. It can also contain active bacteria, which acts as a probiotic and aids in digestion.

Salmon: Full of omega 3 fatty acids, salmon helps ensure your best friend maintains a healthy and shiny coat. It also supports a robust immune system.

Eggs: Eggs are full of protein. They also contain easily digestible selenium and riboflavin, making them a great addition to homemade pet treats.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is especially beneficial for older dogs with irregular digestion. It is also a great alternative to grain for dogs with certain wheat allergies.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps improve circulation and contains anti-inflammatory properties. This helps relieve joint pain due to arthritis. Cinnamon also helps regulate blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels, which is especially good for diabetic pets.

Parsley: Add parsley or parsley flakes to dog treats to freshen breath. Parsley also contains vitamins A and C. Plus, your dog won’t even know it’s there.

Important tips for keeping your pet safe in the winter

As pet lovers, we all worry about keeping our pets safe during winter. The harsh weather and plummeting temperatures present challenges for people and pets alike. Humans wrap themselves in layers of thermal protection. And while pets often have natural coats to handle foul weather, they can still be vulnerable in many ways. As empathetic people, it’s important that we recognize and act to keep our loving pets healthy and happy during the frigid season. Here are some ways of keeping your pet safe in winter.

Time Limits
When we look at the daily forecast, it shows us the temperature and “feels like” conditions. That lower number refers to the wind chill factor. Although a dog or cat may enjoy a thick winter coat, keep in mind that they too have exposed skin areas such as the nose, ears and mouth. By limiting the amount of time they spend outdoors to do their duty, you’ll keep them much safer from frostbite.

Bundle Up
It may surprise some pet lovers that their furry friend’s winter coat doesn’t assure them long-lasting protection from the elements. Sweaters and pet clothing is a must if your pet will spend any length of time outside during freezing temperatures.

Footwear
One of the best ways of keeping your pet safe in the winter is to provide them with foot protection. While their paws appear to be padded, the soles of their feet can only endure a limited amount of exposure to extreme temperatures. Another problem that comes with combating snow and ice is the use of rock salts and harmful chemicals. A nice set of paw booties will provide an additional layer of protection from natural and man-made elements.

Food and Diet
Dogs and cats get far less exercise during the winter. They also take so many naps that they seem to be in a state of hibernation. This is a natural mechanism to conserve energy because exposure to cold weather drains their bodies faster. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to adjust winter diets. The goal is to supply them with enough nutrition and calories without them gaining unhealthy weight.

Storms and power outages pose two very real dangers in terms of keeping your pet safe in the winter. Indoor pets can be suddenly confronted with cold temperatures that they are unable to physically handle. Have a contingency plan to keep a space warm and well ventilated in the event you lose power. Heavy snows may also restrict travel and it’s important that you have a reserve supply of pet food on hand. Winter is not the best time to manage pet items on a week to week basis.

Frozen Dinners
Many pet owners get into the habit of putting food and water bowls outdoors. A freeze pop may be fun on a warm summer day, but there’s a reason you heat up frozen TV dinners. Find an indoor area that works for pet feedings during the cold months and don’t wait until the thermostat reaches freezing. If that isn’t logistically feasible for you, invest in heated food and water bowls. Also, be sure that your adorable pet enjoys a steady stream of clean water.

Antifreeze
Checking and adjusting antifreeze levels in automobiles is a pre-winter event. Pets can be particularly susceptible to chemicals such as antifreeze. It’s imperative that you keep containers properly sealed and cleanup any spillage. An added protection can be changing to products that use propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. The former can be safer, but is still a toxin to animals and humans alike.

These are just a few ways to keep your pet safe in the winter. Be sure to monitor your pet’s demeanor and energy levels. If you see any significant or concerning change, call your veterinarian immediately.

When Should Your Pet See The Vet

Sometimes its hard to know when and why your healthy pet needs to see the vet. We are big believers of prevention and the only way to know that your pet has a clean bill of health is to come in for check ups! We hope to see you and your furry friend soon.

National Train Your Dog Month

Not only is January known for New Year Resolutions, it’s also National Dog Training Month! Whether you got a new dog during the holidays, or your dog needs a little more obedience, training is what your dog needs. Not to mention, it’s a great way to bond with them. We’ll help you get started with basic tips and tricks.

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The Basics

When you bring a new dog home, there are a few commands you’ll want to teach them right off the bat. If they already have a name, that’s great. If not, picking a name with a strong ending will keep your new puppy or dog focused. Stick with it and avoid using nicknames until they’re comfortable with the name. The next thing you should do is firmly decide on house rules. Is your dog allowed on the couch? Are they allowed on the bed? Do they eat in a specific place every day? These rules will help your new dog feel comfortable in your new home, and help keep your sanity.  

 

Commands to Know

There are commands like “shake” and “roll-over” that are fun challenges for your dog. Some commands should be taught right away to begin obedience. These commands are “come” “sit” “stay”. It helps to get on their level and use their name. When they complete the command correctly, use positive reinforcement and make it a big deal. You should teach your dog to sit before teaching stay. This trick is especially useful if you have a dog that loves to follow you around the house.

 

Crate Training

A crate is sometimes looked at negatively by pet owners, but for some pets it can be a positive training tool. While it can be used to potty train puppies, adult dogs are known for spending quiet time in their crates. Dogs are den animals and need a space to be alone. When crate training, never make the crate feel like a punishment. Throughout time, you’ll find your dog in there quite a bit when they get stressed or anxious.

 

Training your dog is one of the most important interactions you will have with them. Not only does it give you peace of mind, especially leaving them at home, but it helps you bond. Remember to keep it simple at first, and continue with consistency to improve your dog’s skills. If you have any questions, you can visit our website, or call us at 480.968.9275. Happy training!

 

Dog Gift Giving Guide

The countdown to Christmas is here and we are sure everyone is frantically shopping for those last minute gifts. Here’s a question: did you get a present for fido? If not, don’t worry! We’ve got some fun, out of the box ideas for you that your dog is sure to love!

We think this idea is genius, especially for the rainy season. It’s a leash with an umbrella attached to it, so that when you walk your dog, they don’t get wet! Cute and practical, this gift can be found on Amazon.

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This next item is a tried and true addition to any pet home, but we just can’t get enough. Get rid of those clunky food and water bowls and replace them with a sleek drawer system that can easily be hidden away when not in use. Great options can be found on Amazon.

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We are in the age of technology and that includes tech for pets. This gadget allows you to see and talk to your pet from your phone when you aren’t home. Now you can have peace of mind and know that your pup is okay when you’re not there to keep them company. You can order yours on petchatz.com
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This next item may not be the most practical for the winter months but your pup sure will be happy once the weather heats up again (especially if they have lots of fur)! This chill out mat keeps your pup cool as soon as they lay down on it. This item can be found on Amazon.

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Another functional and chic toy, a dinosaur Nylabone. This toy is great for your dog’s dental health and isn’t a huge eye sore if left out in the living room! These are very affordable and come in many different dino shapes, find them on Amazon.

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Hopefully we’ve given you some gift ideas for your pups. We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and we can’t wait to see everyone back in the New Year!

Paperless Hospital Update

Helping your pets and the environment. We’ve gone paperless here at University Animal Hospital! Check out this video to learn more about what you should expect on your next visit.

Holiday Boarding

The holidays are in full swing and this means lots of time out of town to visit family and friends. But where to the pets go when you’re away from home? At University we offer an expansive boarding facility that is a perfect, safe place to leave your pets over the holidays. Watch this video to learn more.