Table of Contents

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 

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Some common food items that are considered completely safe for humans can be toxic – and even lethal – to pets. While it is hard to resist slipping something from your dinner plate under the table to your furry companions, it’s wise to think twice about whether your dinner is going to unintentionally harm your animal. Unless certain food items are specifically recommended by a professional, play it safe and stick to pet-friendly snacks and food.

While not a full list, the following food items are considered toxic to pets. If you plan on providing your pet with “people food”, consider discussing safe options with your veterinarian first.


This one should probably go without saying, but pets should never be given any type of alcoholic beverage or food item. Alcohol can induce vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, depression of the central nervous system, coma, and, in the worst-case scenario, death in pets. Keep adult beverages out of the reach of your pets at all times.


Avocados are a staple in many health-conscious households, but parts of this fruit can actually be toxic to all other mammals. The skin and leaves contain persin, which can cause congestion, fluid build-up around the heart, and difficulty breathing. Dogs and cats are less susceptible to persin poisoning than birds and horses, for example, but it is still smart to play it safe. The actual avocado is harmless to pets, if you take special precautions to remove the skin and leaves thoroughly.

Caffeine and Chocolate

Both caffeine and chocolate contain methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, increased heart rate, seizures, and even death in pets. Overall, dark chocolate is more toxic than light chocolate. Baking chocolate is the most poisonous to pets, while white chocolate is the least.


This one often surprises pet owners, since cheese is commonly used as a special training treat. However, pets lack a substantial amount of lactase, the enzyme needed to break down milk and other dairy products. Because of this, those small bites of cheese can actually cause diarrhea and other digestive issues. Just like with people, dairy seems to affect certain pets worse than others.

Grapes and Raisins

It is unclear why grapes and raisins are highly poisonous to dogs, but they are known to cause kidney failure and death in certain canines. Ingesting grapes and raisins doesn’t seem to affect every dog, but in this scenario, it’s better to play it safe and save the grapes for yourself.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts can cause depression, vomiting, tremors, ataxia, and weakness in dogs. Symptoms usually show up within 12 hours of ingestion and can last up to 48 hours. While most dogs recover on their own without specific treatment, it’s still best to keep these nuts stored in a safe place.

Onions and Garlic

Whether raw, cooked, dried, or powdered, onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs and cats. They can damage your pet’s red-blood cells, which decreases the flow of oxygen throughout the body. This can lead to anemia, which can then lead to long-term organ damage.


Xylitol is a sweetener found in many products, including sugar-free gum, candy, peanut butter, and even toothpaste. In dogs, the consumption of xylitol can be fatal. It is known to cause hypoglycemia and liver failure. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, and seizures. Liver failure can occur within days. Check the food label on all of your sugar-free items, and keep those with xylitol well out of the reach of your pets.

While this is not an exhaustive list of harmful people foods to pets, it does include some of the most fatal and most common toxic foods found in many households. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the aforementioned foods, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is a time to bring awareness to the hard, often unnoticed, work of our local animal shelters. Some might think that the only way to help an animal shelter is by adopting a pet. While this is helpful, this might not be the best option for some families. Whether your living situation doesn’t allow pets, or you cannot financially justify a pet at the moment, there are still ways to help.

Raise Money

Shelters are always in need of a helping hand, as they are usually at capacity or over-capacitated. Because of this, shelters are typically trying to expand their facilities, or in need of pet supplies. Get together with friends and family to set up a fundraising event to gather funds for your local shelter. Personal donations are always welcome at shelters and can remain anonymous for donation privacy.


Foster A Pet

For those people who can’t commit to adopting a pet forever, oftentimes shelters have a foster program in place. These programs allow for foster parents to open their homes to pets that are living in the shelter. This is usually done if the shelter is experiencing a large volume of animals. Sometimes it is a useful tool to help cats and dogs become used to living in a house before being adopted. To find out if your local shelter has a foster program, you can check their website or call them directly. The process entails filling out an application to ensure eligibility before allowing pets into a home.



One of the best ways to help an animal shelter is by volunteering your time. Animal shelters could always use help walking and playing with the animals, as well as cleaning kennels. Sometimes shelters have group opportunities available, so you and friends, families or even coworkers can get together to volunteer. This is also a great way to educate children on how animal shelters help homeless pets. Call your shelter to ask about availability of volunteer hours.


Donate Supplies

In the true holiday spirit, consider giving to your local shelter this week. Animal Shelters are most likely in need of supplies to help their organization running smoothly. Consider donating items like:

  • Pet food
  • Cat litter
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • Leashes and collars
  • Treats and toys

Oftentimes shelters need items that help things to run as smooth as possible. This can include things like paper towels, rubber gloves, and hand sanitizer.


Spread the Word

Quite possibly the easiest way to help a local shelter is by spreading awareness. Let your friends and family know why shelters are important to keeping homeless pets alive and safe. Explain to them that there are different ways to get involved and help out, no matter your skill set or financial ability.


Animal Shelter Awareness Week is all about saying thank you to our local shelters. We can help by donating money or supplies, and especially our time. For those who are thinking of adding an addition to your family, the most important thing to remember is Adopt, don’t shop. If you have any questions about assisting local shelters in the area you can contact us on our website, or call 480-968.9275.


November Boarders of the Month…Shelby & Oreo

Introducing the November boarders of the month…Shelby and Oreo Mee! Keep reading to find out more about them.


Owner’s Testimonial:

“I like to board at University Animal Hospital because it feels like a second home for them. I’ve been a client for over 18 years and they have always come home happy. I would never take them anywhere else.”

Staff comments:

“They are both super sweet! Shelby loves to cuddle on your lap and Oreo is a rambunctious little ball of adorableness!”

“Oreo loves to run around the yard when I try to bring her inside from her walks. She thinks its funny when I can’t catch her”

“Oreo and Shelby are both full of energy and love to sniff around the yard. It always fun spending time in the yard with them for their TLC time.”

“Very active, happy, and playful. We can’t wait to see them again”

“Oreo is so fast and she loves to run! She’s always so happy when she gets Shelby to chase her! They both love to play.”

“Shelby is sweet and he loves to be pet. Oreo is fun to run around with in the yard.”

“Shelby and Oreo are both so cute! Shelby is the perfect lap dog and Oreo loves to play.”

“Oreo got her spay with us and it was sooo cute so see her with the tiniest cone running around!”

Holiday Boarding

The holidays are right around the corner! While you are booking your flights and hotel rooms, don’t forget to book your pets hotel as well.


Kennel Cough & Flu Season

The Fall season typically means colds and flus for most people, and this is no different for your pets. Dogs and cats can have allergies, get colds and potentially even get serious infections if you are not keeping them healthy and are aware of the surroundings.

First let’s talk about cats. Feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus are responsible for 95% of cat colds. Cats have similar symptoms as humans when they contract colds, including runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and loss of appetite. It is important to note that you should never give your cat the same medicines you would take if you had a cold. However, there are a few things you can do to ease the symptoms of a cold and get your cat feeling better.

The first thing is to keep up on grooming. Just like you can get an itchy nose or watery eyes from excess fur, so can your cats. Also, keeping your cats warm can help. Placing a heating pad under their favorite sleeping spot or even letting them hang out in the bathroom while you shower can help their air ways stay wet and clear. If you find that your cat has completely stopped eating or is far more lethargic than usual, you should bring them in to see us.

Now for pups. Dogs can contract a few much more serious conditions during cold/flu season that you should be aware of. The most important being Kennel Cough and Dog Flu.

Kennel cough is a respiratory infection and is highly contagious. The most common symptom is coughing, but can also include nasal discharge. Dogs become exposed to this disease in high traffic dog areas such as vets, dog parks, daycares, or training groups. The best way to prevent this disease from spreading is to not expose your infected dog to other dogs.

Dog flu, again like the flu that humans get, can cause runny nose, cough, fatigue and even fever in severe cases. This virus is extremely contagious and is passed from infected sneezes/coughs. It also lives in objects, so toys that have been touched by infected dogs can transfer the virus as well.

If you feel your dog has been infected by either of these, the best treatment is rest, hydration and keeping them away from other dogs. In serious cases, medication can be prescribed by your vet. It is also important to note that there is a vaccine that can be given for both viruses mentioned to prevent your dog from catching them.

For more information on flu like symptoms this cold season, please contact us at 480.968.9275.

Playtime at University Animal Hospital

In our boarding facilities, we have a large outdoor playground for your dogs to run around and get their exercise. You don’t have to worry about your pets being cooped up all day when they are with us!


Arthritis is often one of the biggest ailments that older pets have to deal with, which is why it is important to stay knowledgeable and know the signs and symptoms so that you are able to make your pets as comfortable as possible. Arthritis is caused by unstable joints which then cause the bones to move around against each other. Keep reading to find out more.


Arthritis in dogs can be more common in breeds like Labs and German Shepherds, which is due to their genetics. Cats that are overweight are also more likely to develop arthritis. In both dogs and cats, we see this problem develop in older age. The biggest way to spot if your pet may have arthritis is limping or activity level. Often, owners see that their pets seem to be slowing down and becoming less active, which can definitely be a sign that something is wrong.


The best way to treat arthritis is to prevent it in the first place. Make sure your pet is at a healthy weight and is eating the best diet. If you do think that your pet may be overweight, please set up an appointment and we can get on the right diet plan in order to prevent future health problems, like arthritis. In most cases, diet and exercise can help arthritis, but if your pet becomes too uncomfortable medication may need to be prescribed.


For arthritis concerns or any other health problem your pet is dealing with, please make an appointment online or call us at (480) 968-9275 we would love to help you.


October Boarder of the Month… Novia

Introducing the October boarder of the month…Novia! Keep reading to find out more about her.

Owner Testimonial:

“I like to board at University Animal Hospital because of the competency and diligence of the staff. I find comfort in having the hospital staff there if needed. After her many boarding stays, Novia has never shown any anxiety, she is also excited to go, and always greets me and is exciting to see me again when I come pick her up.”

Staff Comments:

“We love having Novia board with us! She is a bundle of joy that loves to cuddle in your lap.”

“Novia is a super cute, fun, smart pup and she is a breeze to care for. I always love seeing her on the reservation list to come in that day.”

“She is always happy to see me when I take care of her!”

“She is the cutest lap dog ever and she loves to ambush you with kisses.”

“She loves to jump into your lap and give lots of kisses!”

“She is so funny to watch in the yard, she is either running about 90 mph or she’s sunbathing. We love her!”

“She loves to give love and is always happy. Such a cutie!”


Boarding 101

Welcome to our boarding facilities! We are excited to share with you everything there is to know about leaving your pet with us.

Meet Dr. Billie!

Today we introduce you to Dr. Billie. We are so happy to have her here! Make and appointment to come see her today.