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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 

Dental Hygiene Tips for Dogs

Here at University Animal Hospital, February is dental month for all our patients! Right now, we’re offering a discount on our dental cleanings when you mention “FEBDENTAL”. However, your dog’s dental hygiene shouldn’t stop there. We’re here to help you maintain your dog’s mouth all year round to prevent dental disease and other issues that can stem from their mouth.

Brush, Brush, Brush
The best way to stay on top of your dog’s oral hygiene is to brush their teeth, just like you do to yours. A soft bristle brush can stop plaque buildup and remove bacteria. To get started, you can purchase a special toothbrush that is angled perfectly for easy access to all their chompers.

Never use your toothpaste on their teeth, as it has dangerous chemicals in it, if ingested. Special dog toothpaste is made to taste better, like treats, and contains no toxic ingredients so they can ingest it.

Wipes
For the busy pet moms and dads out there, there is an alternative to brushing your dog’s teeth. There are dental wipes made specifically for wiping down your dog’s teeth, gums and mouth. While not as effective as brushing, this is a great alternative when you’re pressed for time. Simply wipe down the inside of their mouth to remove surface bacteria. There are many different wipes to choose from, you can see more here.

Dental Treats
These tasty treats can be purchased at your favorite pet store and come in a variety of flavors. These are not a substitute to actual brushing, but they do promote better oral health and help strengthen your dog’s teeth. Look for dental treats next time you’re at the store to keep your pup’s mouth in tip-top shape in-between brushing.

Other Tips
We know that brushing your dog’s teeth every day is a lot of work, which is why there are other things you can do to help them achieve better dental hygiene. Being conscious of the things they put in their mouth is the best thing you can do for them. For breeds with more sensitive teeth or gums, make sure the toys and food you buy for them can accommodate this sensitivity. Softer toys and special food can keep their mouth healthy and pain free!

If you have any questions about caring for your dog’s oral hygiene, please contact us today. Don’t forget to schedule your appointment online and claim our Dental Month promo.

How to Prepare for a Pet Sitter

It’s inevitable, you’re going to go out of town and you might not be able to take your pets. Pet sitters are the best option for dogs and cats that thrive when they’re in a familiar environment. After finding a trustworthy sitter, there are few things you need to do to ensure they have a great time with your pets.

Prepare Your Home
Your pet sitter should stay at your home to not only keep your pet company, but also to make sure your house is safe and cared for. You should make sure everything your sitter will need is laid out and easily accessible. This can include pet food, medication, collars and leashes, as well as their favorite toys. That way, they don’t have to worry about putting things back where they go, leaving you confused upon your routine.

Other things to leave out for guests are clean sheets, towels and toiletries to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Detailed Instructions
This is one instance where being over-detailed is never a bad thing. If you’re traveling, you might have spotty cell coverage and won’t be reachable at all times. Make sure your sitter is well prepared to handle every situation that could arise.

We suggest writing out step by step instructions. Everything from how much food to give your pets and at exactly what time in the day to best walking routes in your neighborhood. This will help you relax while you’re out of town, and help your sitter ensure they are taking great care of your pets.

Leave Contact Information
Last, but definitely not least. A contact sheet should be left in plain sight for your sitter in case of emergency. You should include the following names, addresses and phone numbers of the following people:
Vet office
Next door neighbor
Emergency contact

Your pets are your life, don’t leave them unattended while you’re out of town. Hire a sitter and get all the help you need! If you have any questions about dog sitters or our boarding options, reach out to our office today.

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Dogs

Norwich Terrier, Irish Setter, Siberian Husky and Labrador Retriever

It’s no secret that dogs are amazing! From the tips of the nose, down to their toes, they are miraculous animals that have quirky behaviors and extraordinary skills. We’ve narrowed down the seemingly never-ending list of interesting facts about our canine companions here:

1. Pearly Whites
Puppies have about 28 teeth and adult dogs have 42. Say cheese!

2. Man’s Best Friend
Petting your dog actually releases oxytocin, or the “love hormone”, in both of you. Best friends for life!

3. Why the Wet Nose?
The best part about dog kisses is actually a very beneficial skill for them. The mucous that comes out of their nose actually improves their already outstanding sense of smell.

4. High Population
The United States is the leading country in number of dogs living here! We have over 75 million pet dogs today.

5. Can You See What I See?
Turns out, dogs can see more than black and white. Most breeds can see blue and yellow as well.

6. I Dream of Kibble
When our dogs lay down to sleep, they dream just like us! They enter deep sleep cycles, and show rapid eye movement (REM) which indicates they’re dreaming. When you see their paw or tail twitch, it often means they’re dreaming!

7. Did You Hear That?
Dogs are able to hear much higher pitched sounds than humans. On average, humans can hear best at 2,000 Hertz, while dogs can hear at a much higher 8,000 Hertz.

8. Finger (Nose) Print Like No Other
A fingerprint can be used to identify anyone in the world, and so can your dog’s nose print. Each nose is different from any other one in the world!

9. Night Vision
Don’t worry about getting lost in the dark with your dog. Our furry friends have a special membrane in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum. This gives them better sight, even after the sun goes down!

10. A Breed For Everything
There are more than 150 dog breeds. They are divided into different categories including sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding and other.

Whatever makes your dog interesting, love them for them! We sure do! Don’t forget to schedule your pet’s annual wellness appointment online today!

New Year’s ‘Paw’solutions

Photo Of Person Touching Dog

Our dogs are just like us, sometimes they need a start fresh. Let 2019 be the year of more fun, more laughter and more time spent together. Try one of these ‘paw’solutions in the new year and start to see an improvement in day-to-day life and your relationship with your pets.

Exercise
A popular choice for us as a new year’s resolution, our pets will love this just as much as we do. In the new year, take longer walks and play catch for an extra 30 minutes at the dog park. You and your pet will be in great shape and extra exercise can result in breaking bad habits. If your pup is tired after a long day, you will notice less destructive behaviors.

Try New Things Every Week
Whether it’s a trip to a new dog park or a play date with the neighbors, getting out of the house and trying new things can break up your routine and add excitement to your lives. There are plenty of fun activities happening around Phoenix, like training events or get-togethers for pet owners and their furry friends.

Take an Extra Nap – or Two
There’s nothing better than spending quality time with your pets, and sometimes that means just staying home. Kick up your feet, grab your favorite blanket and snuggle up with your dog or cat. This extra bonding time will bring you closer together!

Eat More Treats
While counter-intuitive to the popular “diet resolutions”, we say go for the extra treats, even if it is for no reason. You could also give for treats because you’re training them to correct bad behaviors or habits. Use the new year to stop excessive barking or pulling on the leash during walks.

Make the most of the new year by spending more time with your pets! If you’re lounging at home or going for a run, your pets are going to love this new you. Contact us today with any questions or to make an appointment first thing this year.  

Boarder of the Month: Luca Ritz

Owner’s Testimonial:

“Quite honestly without the care and support from University Animal Hospital I most likely would not have added Luca as a new family member for my grandson Jack and myself. Since 8 weeks and 15 lbs. to 22 months and 154 lbs your facility has been an integral part of his life. I appreciate the extra attention by all of the staff and Roxanne in particular. He visits for day boarding nearly every Tuesday and he truly wakes up those days excited like he knows he is going to visit. I trust University explicitly when I am gone out of town 3 and sometimes 5 days at a time. The attention to detail, communication, reminders and personal interactions are greatly appreciated. From the front door to the kennels, to the exam rooms everyone appears to be on the same page. I highly recommend the facility to any and all that I come in contact with when talking pets.”

Staff comments:

“Luca is such a happy boy! I love his big smile and how he puts his big paws up on the counter to greet us when he arrives. He loves to sit pretty for treats on the scale because he is such a good boy! He also makes sure to go around to all the receptionists for hugs and back scratches before he goes back to play with his friends in the kennel. But most of all, I love his big heart!!”

“Luca is the sweetest giant! He makes me happy every time I get to see his adorable face. He is so well behaved and he loves to play ball with us during his TLCs! I love Luca.”

“He is such a goofball. I love to watch him play with one of our green balls that bounces a lot because he likes to pounce on it and chase it around the yard. I think it’s super funny when he get a big glob of drool on someone when he tries to give them love!”

“We all love Luca so much! He’s is really such a sweet guy. He definitely loves to play but hasn’t seem to grow into his body quite yet so he’s pretty goofy as he flops around the yard. But he is always such a big happy goofy guy!”

“I adore Luca. Talk about gentle giant! He has got so much love to give and he always wants to be around us. I love it when he stays with us.”

“Luca has great manners and is the best at playing ball. He is a beautiful boy with a big heart that never stops loving. I can’t help but smile every time I see his handsome face and he is always smiling back!”

“I love when I come in and Luca is boarding with us. He is contagiously happy and big love bug. I’m sure we could both spend hours playing in the yard together if we were able to.”

“Luca is such a blast! I love taking him out for his TLCs and playing fetch. He’s like a huge cat pouncing on the ball. He is one of my favorite boarders to love on!”

“It’s been so fun watching Luca grow up, he just seems to keep getting bigger and more lovable. He has such a charming puppy face that he never grew out of. It makes me feel so happy when he is excited to see me when I get him from the front like he remembers and is excited to have another fun day in boarding.”

 

Christmas Decor Dangers

The holiday decorations are going up! Make sure they’re safe for everyone in the house, as these holiday dangers are very harmful to our pets. Avoid the following items all month long to keep you and your family safe and happy.

Sugary Treats
Food and sugary drinks can cause a lot of digestion issues, some more serious than others. For your reference, make sure you keep these treats out of reach to keep the holidays safe and healthy:
Chocolate
Grapes
Raisins
Currants
Blue Cheese
Macadamia Nuts
Garlic
Chives
Onions
Alcohol
Salt Dough(homemade) ornaments

Tree Hazards
There’s nothing more enticing than a Christmas tree all lit up and decorated. Our pets almost can’t contain themselves when they set their sights on it. To eliminate any temptations, we suggest skipping things like tinsel and loosely strung lights. Tinsel can cause choking hazards if ingested. Loosely strung lights are much easier to steal off the tree. A pre-lit tree that is more tightly wound won’t allow for a naughty pet to take off of the tree.

Breakable Decor
If you have a big dog, you’ve likely seen the destruction they cause when they get excited. For example, a tail wagging can knock things off coffee tables or excited jumping that gets out of control. If you have snow globes or nativity scenes on low hanging shelves or table tops, make sure you put them in places that our out of tail’s reach. Broken glass is definitely not wanted during the holidays!

Candles
Another item you should cautiously keep out of reach is candles. For the same reason you don’t want your breakable items sitting down low, you don’t want flames there either. Knocking over a lit candle can cause serious damage.

If you have any questions or concerns this holiday season, make sure you reach out to your vet to make sure you’re doing what’s right for your pets this season. We’re here to answer any questions you have. Contact us today!

5 Things to Talk to Your Vet During Your Next Visit

Communication is key, especially in the veterinarian office! We want to make sure it’s not only easy to schedule appointments, but also easy to talk with us about your pet’s health concerns. To properly care for your pets, we ask that pet owners come prepared with plenty of information to share with the doctor. Once we build a strong foundation, the care your pet receives only gets better!

Have Any Symptoms Listed
Leading up to your visit, begin watching your pet and take note of anything abnormal. Jot down and track any symptoms that you notice. This makes it easier to present to the vet when you come in for your appointment. It can be easy to forget what you wanted to talk about when you come in, so this can keep you organized.

Ask Breed Specific Questions
There’s no better source to go to about your dog than your vet, especially breed specific questions. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain illnesses, while others need more exercise than others. Your vet can answer all of the questions you have about your specific breed.

Mental Stimulation and Exercise
All pet owners know how important it is to provide physical exercise for your pets, but mental stimulation is just as important. When you visit our office, ask us what the latest techniques in mental stimulation for pets are. These can include food mazes and using certain toys to hold their attention. Ask us more at your next visit!

Learn About Microchipping Services
One of the most important precautions to take for your pet is microchipping them. If your dog accidentally gets loose, this is the best way for you to find them or a neighbor to identify them. Asking your vet in person is the best way to get straight forward answers and options for the small procedure.

Office Capabilities and Contact Information
The last thing to talk to your vet about is the office capabilities, including services offered and contact information. Bring something to write in or put it in the notes section of your phone for quick and easy access. Ask about emergency services, overnight boarding and who to contact for an appointment.

We want you to be as prepared as possible for your next appointment, so take the time to come up with questions to bring to the veterinarian office. To learn more about what to expect in your very first visit, you can read more online.

Boarder of the Month: Mortarion Zepeda

“I love Mortarion! He always wants to come out and play. He loves cuddling with us and is definitely loves being around people!”

“Mortarion has one of the most unique personalities! He is adventurous, playful and loves our attention as much as I love giving it to him!”

“Mortarion is the sweetest cat! He is always happy to see everyone and very cuddling and loving. I love forward to seeing him whenever he boards with us.”

“He is just so sweet! He was such a fun personality and loves to be pet. I love when I come in and see that he is here because he can always put a smile on my face!”

“Mortarion is a great cat! He is always waiting for you to come in so he can say hi. He loves to eat and relax looking out the window. He is awesome and one of my favorites to spend time with when he is here.”

“Talk about a cat with character! I swear he makes the best facial expressions and is super spunky. He likes to sniff around and get to know the area around him but than he also will soak up all the attention you are willing to give. When you are there he’ll just rub his face on his condo until you come say hi to him.”

“He is an awesome cat, he is super sweet and cuddly and it doesn’t seem like anything will every make him angry because he’s always happy when he’s here.”

“Mortarion is one of a kind! Everything about him is unique, his colors, personality and name. He is unforgettable and I love when he’s here because if I was ever having a bad day, I could visit it him and I would always feel better.”

What to Expect When You Adopt a Senior Dog

The sad truth is many animals that end up in animal shelters are older, senior pets. Whether a family can no longer care for the animal due to unforeseen circumstances, or they’re abandoned, these pets are still in need of their forever home. Many people search shelters for young dogs and puppies, but senior pets shouldn’t be overlooked. This month is ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so we’re helping you understand the process of adopting and loving a senior pet.

What to Expect
When you decide to adopt a dog, and come to the decision to adopt an older pet, there are a few things to do first. Just like with any new pet, you’ll want to start preparing your home to take in this new family member. Begin with collecting supplies like food and water dishes, bedding and toys. Let the adults in the family meet your potential new pet first, and then bring in children to meet them. Talk to the staff at the shelter you choose to understand more about the pet. Ask if they had any information from the past family. If the dog has certain needs, make sure your home is able to accommodate them.

Understand the Costs
Part of accommodating your new pet includes understanding the costs and level of care that could come along with caring for a senior pet. Because these dogs are entering a new stage in life, they could require a higher level of attention and care. Ask your vet or shelter staff to evaluate the health of your new pet. It should be noted that care costs could get increasingly higher. Ensure your family has the funds set aside to help your animal, should anything arise.

The Best is Yet to Come
Even if proper care becomes a little more expensive, the very best is yet to come for your pet. By adopting a senior pet, you’re saving a life! With puppies, you have to spend years teaching them when and where to go potty and what not to chew on. Most of the time, older pets are completely house-trained and know not to chew on your favorite sandals. They are often familiar with kids and fit right in with any family setting. We see many pets go to families that are completely trained and continue to learn new tricks. Yes, the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t true.

This month, we encourage your family to look into adopting an older or senior pet if your family has the means to do so. These pets are so deserving of finding a forever home to live out the rest of their years. If you have any questions about adopting a senior pet, please contact our team today!

The Dangers of Squeaky Toys for Dogs

One of the most popular toys for our pets also comes with a warning of caution. Owners should be careful to give out squeaky toys to their pets because they can cause more harm than fun in some situations. The dangers of squeaky toys are real, and it’s the pet owner’s responsibility to determine if these toys are acceptable for the pets in your life.

Over-excitement

Some dogs absolutely love to walk around with a squeaker in their mouth, making all sorts of noise during play time. This may seem fine until you understand why squeaky toys were invented. These toys represent small rodents that some dogs were originally bred to hunt. Even though your dog doesn’t hunt for small rodents now, they still have that natural prey instinct in them. Squeaking the toy ignites this instinct, which causes your pup to become overexcited. This can mean they are abnormally more aggressive, which is dangerous for homes with small children.

Choking Hazard for Small Dogs

The traditional squeaky toy comes as a plush dog toy with a small round balloon that creates the high-pitched squeak we all know. As pet owners, we’ve seen our fair share of these toys torn apart to reveal fluff and the tiny plastic balloon. This type of squeaky toy is extremely dangerous to pets with a history of tearing apart toys. The small internal pieces are a major choking hazard. This is why we recommend watching your dog closely when introducing a new toy or treat.

Our Advice

Noise making toys are great for your pup, in moderation. At University Animal Hospital, we recommend brands such as KONG that have a long standing reputation of designing tough, durable dog toys. You don’t have to worry about these toys being torn apart and causing choking hazards.

If your pet has a history of becoming over excited in normal situations, we do not recommend letting them play with squeaky toys around small children. Even the nicest of pets can become aggressive at the drop of a hat.

As with all new things introduced to your pets, if you are treating your dog to a new toy, make sure they are monitored during the first few days. There are concerns for these toys, but they are also a great tool to keep your dog engaged during playtime, which leads to more healthy exercise for them. To learn more about keeping your dog safe during play time, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office today.