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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 

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:
Blue Cheese
Macadamia Nuts
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!

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.


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.


Halloween Precautions for Pet Owners

Orange Plastic BucketHalloween is all about tricks and treats, but when it comes to your pets, you should leave the tricks out of it. Halloween candy is great for you and your family but can pose a real danger to pets if they get a hold of it. Follow our tips to keep your pets safe during this spooky holiday.

Keep Pets Indoors

When pet owners think of Halloween precautions to take for their pets, the obvious usually come to mind: no chocolate. The security shouldn’t stop there, though. Halloween night is likely one of the busiest times of the year in your otherwise quiet neighborhood. Between families out enjoying the holiday together and children going house to house for treats, there is about to be a lot of extra foot traffic in your area. If your dog usually spends time outdoors, this can be stressful for them, and even potentially dangerous. Halloween is known for pranks, and unfortunately, they can be targeted toward defenseless animals. Before festivities begin, bring your cat or dog indoors to prevent strangers from handing out harmful treats to your animals. To keep them away from the treats you’re handing out to neighborhood children, try to seclude your pets to a bedroom for the night.

Candy Isn’t The Only Danger

Food danger includes more than candy. For instance, the most popular home decoration this fall are pumpkins. While pumpkin is healthy for pups in moderation, a carved pumpkin can be hazardous to them for a few reasons. After sitting in the Arizona sun, a raw pumpkin will start to rot. If your dog consumes a decaying pumpkin it can cause troublesome digestive issues. Other fall decor that dogs can eat include things like hay and corn. Take precaution while decorating your home this season and ensure none of these edible decorations are in your dog’s space.

Trick-or-Treat Candy

The best part of Halloween is the most dangerous to our pets, and that’s the goodies the kids get while out trick-or-treating. A bag of sweet candy is completely irresistible to us, as well as our treat-hungry pets. Remember the following after candy is brought home at the end of the night:

  • Immediately transfer the candy into a sealed container that cannot be tampered with, either by paws or teeth.
  • Store the container in a high, hard to reach place. This will also help your dog resist temptation if they don’t know where the candy is.
  • Put the candy back every time you get it out to ensure it isn’t left out on accident.

Remember, in addition to chocolate, there are a few food dangers that can cause your dog harm. Raisins are toxic to dogs and should be kept away at all times. Also, make sure all wrappers or sucker sticks are promptly thrown away to avoid choking hazards.

This Halloween, keep your pets safe and out of harm’s way by following our tips on candy and food safety. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s safety, reach out to our vets today!

Boarder of the Month: Goofy

Owner’s Testimonial:

“One day, out of no where, my mom found a little dog hiding inside an empty flower pot in front of her house. I advised her to take her inside, give her a little food and water and keep her until I got home. After a long day of work, I was excited to see this little dog but I could not believe what I was seeing. This poor little dog was skin and bones, malnourished, timid and scared of people. In fact, she was so scared, she barely ate any food my mom had offered her even though she was starving. However, as soon as I met her, she became a completely different dog… her tail started wagging, she gave me lots of kisses and she finally started eating and drinking water. We immediately connected and formed a special bond!

I’m not sure what Goofy’s life was like before she came to us but I imagine it was not a good one. She is very skittish, is scared of noises, big or small, and is aggressive towards men and other animals. Knowing this about her, it used to be very stressful for us anytime we went out of town and had to kennel her. We always made sure that a note was placed on her file so that the techs were aware to be cautious around her, especially men. We always felt guilty about leaving her in a kennel and pictured her being sad, lonely and depressed. However, we quickly realized that we have nothing to worry about.

Every time we drop Goofy off, the office always recognizes her. We always walk to the kennel with her and have seen her approach and greet each tech she walks by (it’s so cute to see her do this!). When we pick her up, the techs always tell us how they enjoyed taking care of, playing and spending time with her. Best of all, the techs have indicated that they have never had a problem with her, in fact, Jamie (one of the male techs) is one of her favorites.

It is a huge relief to know that Goofy is having a great time while she is at University Animal Hospital. We no longer have to worry about her or feel guilty when we go out of town, in fact, we no longer tell her she is going to the kennel, instead, we tell her she is going to the spa!

Thank you University Animal Hospital for taking such great care of Goofy!”

Staff comments:

“Goofy is such a sweetheart! She loves to give hugs! She loves to play and had a blast playing in the pool. She’s always so happy and I love her smile J”

“Goofy is one of my favorite boarders! She is such a sweet girl and loves cuddling during her TLC’s. I always get excited when I see that she will be coming in when I’m working.”

“I remember first meeting Goofy and she was very shy and cautious. She is now a whole new dog when she gets here and she has learned to trust us and is so affectionate. She knows she is safe, loved and spoiled here. I love to see her on her bed with her stuffed animals because she actually cuddles with them! I just have to crawl into her kennel and give her some extra love and cuddles because its just too cute! J”

“Goofy is such a great girl when she is here, very quiet and calm in her kennel but then full of energy on her walks and TLCs. I love her kisses!”

“This little girl is just adorable! She is the perfect mix of calm, sweet and cuddly but then also silly, rambunctious and well…Goofy once you take her into the yard. She always warms my heart because she is so happy to see you when you come to say hi to her and just wants to be around you as much as she can. I’ve loved getting to know Goofy and watching her personality blossom over the years.”

“Goofy is definitely unforgettable! She’s always quiet and curled up with her blanket and stuffed animal, but when she gets excited to see you she will jump up and give you the biggest hug! It’s so great seeing her come out of her shell with us and be a part of our family here!”

“I love cuddling with Goofy! She gets so excited to see us and it makes me so happy to see her wagging her tail so hard!”

“My favorite thing about Goofy was watching her play in the pool. I was thinking it was going to scare her and that she would hate it but it was quite the opposite! She was a little curious and slow at first and then once she realized what it was, she jumped right in. She was splashing around and being silly it actually made me laugh out loud. This precious dog is quite the gem! I’m so glad she came to us so we could build bonds with her.”

National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

This week is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week (Sept 24-30) and we wanted to take this time to honor all dogs who are suffering or who have suffered with hearing loss of any kind. Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing which they rely on to navigate through life. Humans can hear 20,000 vibrations a second while cats hear up to 25,000. But dogs can pick up sounds at up to 35,000 vibrations per second!

Sharing a home with a canine that is hard of hearing can be difficult. Though few dogs are born deaf, many lose their hearing from ear injuries, as a genetic defect or in old age. We wanted to shine some light on some facts about deaf dogs to assure you that they are no less intelligent than any other dog. They are just as smart, funny and charming!

  • Deaf dogs can bark. They may not use barking as a standard form of communication like other dogs do but they act through instinct. If they want to bark, they will bark!
  • The most common breed of dogs to be deaf are Australian shepherds, Boston terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians, German shepherds, Boxers, Jack Russell terriers, Malteses, toy and miniature poodles, and West Highland white terriers.
  • Many deaf dogs are white. Dogs born without pigment are also missing “hearing cells”. These “hearing” cells start from the same stem cells as pigment-producing cells. If a dog has no pigment in its body, it’s likely that it will also be deficient in the specialised “hearing” cells which cause deafness
  • Deaf dogs ARE trainable. Just like other dogs, deaf dogs learn hand commands and tricks. While they will never have the same recall skills as a hearing dog, they are just as trainable and obedient.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the below tips will help owners care for a deaf pet:

  • Train your pet to recognize hand signals instead of vocal commands.
  • Use a heavy stomp of the foot when you need to get your dog’s attention- they can often feel the vibration in the floor.
  • Try to gently tap or pet your dog to announce your presence or your exit.
  • Avoid letting your deaf dog wander outside alone, unless you have a fenced yard. There are obvious dangers with letting your dog anywhere near traffic and other hazards that he or she won’t be able to hear approaching.
  • Consider attaching a bell to your dog’s collar. This makes it easier to locate your dog quickly in the house or in the event of an escape.
  • Be sure that all of your collars bear an alert that your dog is deaf.

If you think your dog may be deaf, there are certain ways to see if you’re correct. One way is to wait until your dog is asleep, or not looking, and make a loud noise.  If the dog cannot see you, cannot feel any vibration and still doesn’t respond, there’s a good chance your dog is at least hard of hearing. For pet owners who want to know for sure, contact University Animal Hospital for further testing.


Top 5 Questions to Ask the Vet

Related imageHave you ever walked into a vet as a new pet owner and not known what to really ask them? Vet visits can be sometimes be stressful and not just for the animals. We want to do everything to ensure our furry friends are doing well, so we want to help you out and suggest a couple of questions that you could ask us during your appointments!

What should my pet be eating?
This is very important because what they eat can determine their overall health. Even before changing your food brand, consult with your vet first, as the transition can sometimes be difficult. Let your vet know you need help in picking or switching to new foods for your pet. We can help you find the best answer.

Why does my pet do this?
Sometimes, our animals can annoy us: excessive barking, whining, destroying items and peeing on our dining room carpets. Do not be upset or embarrassed! This behavior is common. We can help you figure out different tips and tricks to calm down your pet. It is better to fix the small issue before it turns into a big one.

Is my pet in good shape?
This goes along with a proper diet and good behavior. Tell your vet, truthfully, how much you take your animal outside or what types of activities your pet does for exercise. We are not here to judge, only to help. Try 15-20 minutes a day and see if there is a change!

Is there anything wrong with my pet in general?
Want the full body review? We can give that to you…. If you notice small bumps, moles, lumps in the body, or any kind of detail, please bring it to our attention! Make sure you warn us so we can record every small detail. Better to be safe than sorry!

Can there be issues I cannot see?
There could be many unknowns, that is why we encourage you to schedule appointments regularly with us. Everything from blood tests to urine tests. These can detect hidden diseases!

If you have anymore questions, schedule an appointment with us at We look forward to seeing you!