Category Archives: Behavior

Pet Health: What You Need To Know About Spay Clinics

Meta: Should I have my pet spayed or neutered? Here are some questions to ask about this process before making a decision.

No matter how much we love our pets, there comes a time to face a very important question: should I have my pet spayed or neutered? While there are many benefits of spaying or neutering your pet, it is still not an easy decision. Here are some questions to ask about this process before making a decision.

Why Spay or Neuter My Pet?
There are several reasons to consider having a spay clinic spay or neuter your pet. One of them is the problem of population control. It is a fact that cats and dogs can reproduce rather quickly. For instance, in seven years, a cat can produce nearly 5,000 kittens if she has not been spayed (4.948 kittens, to be exact). This is an astronomical amount of kittens! And, sadly, it is unrealistic to think that they all will find safe and loving homes. The alternative is that, in reality, many of the kittens will end up in shelters. Caring for your pet may mean that a spay clinic is warrantented.

Behavioral Difficulties
Howling and humping, as well as other forms of behavior, are associated with those times when our pets are in heat. A pet spay and neuter clinic can take care of these behavioral problems. Also, when in heat our pets tend to try and escape. This can cause them to be injured, stolen, involved in a fight with another animal or hurt in an accident.

Better Overall Health
Another great reason that shows the importance of spaying or neutering your pet at a spay clinic is the care and attention to their health which they receive there. In particular, the dental health of your pet will be examined and evaluated by the modern spay and neuter clinic vet. Pet health care is a top priority, especially dog dental care. In addition, infections and other problems are treatable in a spay clinic environment.

To sum up, taking care of your pet is a joy and a responsibility. The decision about spaying or neutering your pet is very important. A spay clinic provides a great alternative to traditional veterinary services, sometimes taking less time to get an appointment to be seen. For all the love and affection they give us, it is a good option to give your pet the benefit of a spay clinic. With this choice they will have the opportunity to really enjoy a healthy, happy life.

New To Dog Ownership: Your Most Pressing Puppy Questions Answered

New To Dog Ownership: Your Most Pressing Puppy Questions Answered

You’ve officially decided to get a puppy. You’ve paid the breeder or adoption fee and soon your new furry friend will be gracing the floors of your home.

You’ve got the food and supplies you need along with plenty of toys. But what else do you need to know about taking care of a new puppy?

To help you care for your new puppy, we’ve answered some of your most pressing questions below.

1. Do I need to puppy-proof my house? Puppies are curious, just like kids. That means they tend to chew and swallow things they shouldn’t be chewing or swallowing. Keep children’s toys away and don’t leave any food where they reach it. Be sure to keep your trash can out of your puppy’s reach, too. Your puppy can easily choke on small objects they can fit in their mouths.

2. How soon do I need to bring my puppy to the vet? It’s recommended to get your puppy in to see the vet as soon as possible. Within the first two days is typically best because it gives your vet the chance to catch any health problems early on. You’ll also need to talk to your vet about vaccinations, worms, and feeding.

3. Does my puppy need to be spayed or neutered? If your puppy hasn’t already been spayed or neutered, it’s a good idea to have the procedure done. When you have your dog spayed, you’re helping to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors. When you have your dog neutered, you’re helping to prevent prostate problems and testicular cancer.

4. When does my puppy need to start getting vaccinated? Puppies will typically start getting their vaccinations when they’re eight weeks old. From then until they’re 16 weeks old, they’ll get a series of vaccinations once every three weeks.

Where can I find an Arizona spay clinic near me?

Both puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered once they’ve reached the age of two months old. It’s important to get your puppy spayed or neutered at this time because a dog as young as five months old has the ability to get pregnant.

AZPaws is an Arizona spay clinic where you can take your dog or cat for their neutering/spaying procedure. To learn more about our pet healthcare services such as spaying, neutering, or pet dental care, contact AZPaws today.

 

Ways To Keep Your Cat Cozy This Winter

Cats love to be cozy! Read these tips on how to keep your kitty safe and warm this season.

Ways To Keep Your Cat Cozy and Safe This Winter
Arizona is known for its mild winter days. However, nights out in the desert can sometimes drop to below freezing. For household cats who love to seek warmth, staying comfortable during the winter season can be a challenge.

Fortunately for the humans who take care of these heat-seekers, making sure your feline friends stay cozy and comfortable during the winter is no difficult feat. Examine the following tips to keep your cat happy this winter season.

Consider neutering.
Neutering a cat is the only 100% effective form of birth control for felines and therefore helps prevent unwanted pregnancies. What’s more, understanding the importance of spaying or neutering your pet will help prevent certain diseases in your cat, which may affect your furry friend during the winter months.

Keep them indoors.
Not every cat is an indoor cat, but keeping your cat indoors is the only way to ensure they stay safe. This is especially true during the winter months when food is scarce and nights are frigid. With proper stimulation, you can keep your cat entertained all winter long.

Create cozy spaces
Create draft-free nooks around the house to help keep them warm. Pile a blanket in their favorite area and snuggle it with their favorite toy.

Be wary of plants
The winter season is one of the most popular times for flowers and plants. However, certain plants can be dangerous for cats if they ingest any part of the flower or even inhale pollen. These dangerous plants include tulips, peace lilies, and the amaryllis. To keep your kitty safe, be sure to research cat-safe plants before introducing to your home this winter.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s up to you to ensure your furry friend is comfortable throughout the winter months. By following the tips above, you can help keep your cat cozy and safe this winter season.

 

Debunking Popular Spay and Neuter Myths: Feline Edition

Read more about why spaying your cat can be a good thing on the AZ Paws blog!

Debunking Popular Spay and Neuter Myths: Feline Edition

Most cat owners consider their feline friend to be a much-loved family member. Understandably, you’d never want to cause your pet any pain. This is one of the reasons some people choose not to spay and neuter their cats. The truth is, spaying or neutering a cat will not cause them harm. Further, neutering and spaying a cat can also help to reduce unnecessary feline deaths. Sadly, millions of cats die in shelters and out in the wild each year due to overpopulation; if you spay and neuter, you can help curb this problem.

But because humans care deeply about their own animals, there are many myths about these procedures that continue to persist. If you’re thinking of bypassing spaying or neutering your cat at the vet clinic, you should pay close attention to the myths below. Once you read these, we hope you’ll better understand the importance of spaying or neutering your pet.

MYTH: Cats become lazy once they’ve been spayed or neutered
Reality: While it’s true that some spayed and neutered cats do put on weight, the surgery isn’t actually to blame. When a cat is spayed or neutered as a kitten, their metabolic rate will slow down as they become adults. This means that they actually require fewer calories than unaltered cats do. If we overfeed our cats — as many of us are wont to do — they’re likely to gain weight. Portion control and ample physical activity through play should be enough to keep your cat happy and in shape.

MYTH: My cat’s behavior will change after the procedure
Reality: If you see any behavioral changes, they’ll be positive. After being neutered, a male cat will likely reduce (or may never even start) territorial spraying. In addition, he will have a lower tendency to fight with other animals or wander off at night. After being spayed or neutered, most cats will actually be a lot more content, as finding a mate and breeding can actually be quite stressful. In basic terms though, these procedures will not alter your cat’s personality or playfulness.

MYTH: Indoor cats don’t need to be spayed or neutered
Reality: There is always a chance your indoor cat could escape and reproduce. After all, not all homeless cats are feral. And even if your cat never makes it outside, he or she (and you) can still benefit from these procedures. Undesirable behaviors like yowling at night or spraying urine will disappear, and if you spay or neuter your cat, you can actually reduce their risk of developing reproductive cancers. It’s the responsible thing to do.

MYTH: My cat should have the chance to be a parent
Reality: This notion is understandable but misguided. Cats don’t have psychological or emotional needs to become parents; they’re simply following their instinct to reproduce. Even if you think your cat might make a great mom or dad, it’s much better to adopt a kitten than it is to have your cat reproduce for the sake of parenthood.

MYTH: It’s better to have your cat go through one heat or litter before spaying
Reality: While SpayUSA.org recommends spaying prior to a first litter, evidence shows that you should spay and neuter your cat when it’s around six months old. Not only will spaying early eliminate interest from male cats, but it can also keep your pet healthy. By spaying at an earlier age, you can help reduce the risk of uterine infections and mammary cancer in your cat. Cats really don’t have a sexual identity, so there’s no reason for your cat to go through heat or a litter before getting fixed.

If you spay and neuter your animals, you’re actually helping to protect them. To find out more about the spay and neuter services we provide, contact AZ Paws today.

Why Should You Neuter Your Dog?

Neutering your dog can be a good decision. Read more about why on our AZPAWS.org website.

Why Should You Neuter Your Dog?

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and as a dog owner, you have a certain duty to keep your pet healthy. Treats should only make up 10% of your pet’s daily calories, and you should be aware that 66% of all dog food allergies are caused by beef, dairy, and wheat. By age three, 80% of dogs have periodontal disease. There’s a lot to keep in mind, but one of the biggest responsibilities of a pet owner is getting their pet spayed or neutered.
For most dog-owners, neutering your pet is a part of the normal procedure of owning a pet. But why is this so? Many dog-owners out there — even if they don’t intend to breed their dogs — decide to let their pets forgo this surgery. However, there’s good reason why this has become an accepted part of dog-ownership. Check out these reasons why neutering a dog is the right thing to do:

 

Reduction of Aggression

Male dogs tend to be aggressive and confrontational to strangers and other dogs. Neutering significantly reduces this aggression.

 

Lower Licensing Fees

In most communities and counties, if your dog is neutered, the fees for licensing are lower.

 

Focus Attention

Anyone who has an un-neutered dog knows how hard it is to get them to focus their attention on an activity, especially when there are other dogs around. They will be much more interested in constantly marking their territory and investigating other dogs and people, sometimes aggressively.

 

Reduces the Risk of Prostate Disorders

Prostate disorders like enlarged prostates, prostate cysts, and prostate infections occur quite often in un-neutered dogs, but studies have shown that dogs who get neutered have a much lower likelihood of having such disorders.

 

Prevention from Breeding

Yes, puppies are amazing and adorable — but the world has more than enough of them. Hundreds of puppies are homeless and awaiting adoption at shelters all the time. Plus, the responsibility of raising the pups will most likely fall on the owner of the female.
Definitely consider the pros and the cons of neutering your dog, and get the procedure done at a safe pet neuter clinic where the professionals take pet healthcare, and neutering a dog seriously. The same goes for spaying a dog at a good spay clinic.

12 Things Every Puppy Owner Should Know

The key to a great life with your puppy is getting off to the right start. What should you know about puppies? Here are 10 things that are good to know before you raise one of your own.

1] Don’t hit or smack your puppy.

Punishment teaches a dog nothing except how to avoid the punishment. It is far better, and far more humane, to teach a dog what to do by rewarding them rather than punishing them for doing the wrong thing. The use of punishment can be very upsetting for puppies and may encourage them to react defensively by barking, biting, or snarling. In some cases, remote devices can be used to deliver corrections via noise or unpleasant smells (e.g. a motion-detected noisemaker to discourage dogs from stealing food off a counter) but this is the only type of acceptable reinforcement of this type.

2] Learn how puppies understand their mistakes.

This is a very important part of the way your puppy’s brain works. Dogs learn when there is a connection between their action and the consequence, so punishment (or a reward) hours after the deed occurs is not a useful training tool. Let’s say your puppy knocks over the trash and has a blast digging in it while you are at work. You get home and see trash all over the kitchen. Your puppy walks in or you drag him in the kitchen and scream at him. Your puppy does not associate the punishment with the fact that he or she did the bad deed. Instead, they associate your reaction with the act of you returning home or the sight of the trash knocked over. If you don’t catch your dog “in the act” of doing something naughty, forget about trying to correct their behavior…it won’t do any good.

3] Crates can be an important training tool.

A crate can be your puppy’s home-away-from-home or a comfortable retreat for when the rest of the family gets to be too much. Crates are also great tools for housetraining because dogs don’t like to soil their immediate environment. In addition, inside a crate is probably the safest place for a puppy to ride when traveling by car, and when pups have to fly cargo, crates provide a touch of the familiar on the plane. For more information on crate training go to Crate Training Your Puppy.

4] Puppy teething is a pain.

Similar to human babies, teething is the term used when a dog’s adult teeth push out their juvenile or “milk” teeth. This usually occurs between 12 and 20 weeks of age. The process can be painful and puppies often chew on items to soothe themselves. It is critical to have safe chew toys during this time, as unsafe toys are not digestible and, if swallowed, require an expensive surgery.

5] Learn the signs of puppy illness.

Puppies can get sick quickly, so early detection is crucial. Learning what symptoms to watch for and what questions your vet may ask can help narrow down the possible causes and determine a diagnosis as quickly as possible.

6] Calculate how long puppies can hold their urine.

Young puppies of 2, 3, and even 4 months of age have limitations when it comes how long they can go without using the bathroom. The younger a puppy is, the less control they have over the muscles that start and stop the flow of urine and the more frequent their potty breaks need to be. The usual formula for estimating the number of hours for which a puppy can hold its urine is N + 1, where N is the puppy’s age in months. For example, a 3-month-old puppy should be able to hold its urine for approximately 4 hours in a pinch (3 + 1). This means that if you have a properly toilet trained 4-month-old puppy (who theoretically can hold its urine for 5 hours) and you shut that puppy in a crate for 6 or 7 hours, you are courting disaster. Puppies that are crated for longer than they can contain themselves will be forced to soil themselves or potentially develop infections from holding their waste too long. This creates problems down the line as soiling within the crate destroys a valuable instinct to keep the “nest” clean.

7] Many human medications and foods are toxic to puppies.

Don’t give your puppy a medication or human food without first checking with your veterinarian. For example, ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, grapes, raisins, and onions are all toxic to dogs and even a small amount can make a tiny puppy very ill.

8] Know how to socialize your dog.

Create a happy puppy with good socialization skills so they grow into a friendly, well-behaved adult. Encourage your puppy to have positive experiences with a variety of people and pets. For more tips, go to The Importance of Socializing Pups.  

9] Your puppy needs an interactive home.

Create a trusting relationship between your dog and all family members in your home by providing tons of positive interaction. Puppies are very impressionable and it is up to you to give them a healthy background of positive experiences. Negative experiences such as yelling, punishment, or abuse can cause psychological trauma that will impact them for their entire lives. If you care for your puppy when they need it, have reasonable expectations for their behavior, keep them safe, and gently reinforce good behaviors, all should be well. Here is great information on how to talk to and handle your new puppy, an important part of interacting with your dog.

10] You can prevent your puppy’s fears.

You would not believe how many adult dogs hate to have their nails cut or their owners can’t brush their teeth. I’ve seen dogs who needed more than 6 people to hold them down just for a simple nail trim. Puppyhood is a great time to interact with your dog and prevent this type of problem. Gently massage his paws and help him get used to having his mouth and feet examined. Start by gently looking in the mouth and touching the gums. Show him that this kind of contact is a positive and normal thing. You can also start to gently brush your puppy’s teeth. Give praise when your puppy behaves well and work up to regularly brushing the teeth and trimming his nails.

11] Separation anxiety in puppies can be prevented.

Dogs are social animals that form strong bonds with people, but sometimes those attachments can become unhealthy. When this happens, it can cause separation anxiety that manifests as destruction of the owner’s property or as other behaviors that may be harmful for the dog or annoying for people sharing the dog’s immediate environment. It is important to realize that dogs with separation anxiety are not doing these things to “get even” with the owner for leaving, out of boredom, or due to lack of obedience training. They are not being destructive out of spite or anger, but rather because they are truly distressed when their owner leaves. Thankfully, you can prevent this kind of unhealthy attachment. A great way to do so is to work on creating an independent dog that is able be away from you during the day without stress. (Remember, only reward him if he keeps calm and don’t reinforce behaviors that you don’t want to continue.)

12] Good puppy behavior should be reinforced.  

When your puppy is behaving appropriately, reinforce the behavior by providing a treat or praise right when they perform the desired behavior. This helps make sure your puppy knows what is expected of him. It can even be as simple as praising your dog for calmly lying at your feet. This technique can really help prevent problem behaviors such as dominance aggression, nipping at children, running to the door, barking, and more.

 

Written by: Dr. Debra Primovic – DVM Published: February 16, 2015 Last Modified: September 14, 2015

The 3 Rookie Mistakes That New Pet Owners Can’t Afford to Make

Bringing a new pet home for the first time can be one of the most exciting feelings, especially if you’ve never been a pet owner before. There’s a reason why we have such a close bond with our animals.
However, the old saying that pets are a big responsibility isn’t just a cliche. As the primary caretaker of your four-legged friend, it’s up to you to make sure your pet lives a long, healthy life.
Many first-time pet owners make rookie mistakes when caring for their pets — but sometimes, these mistakes can cause serious harm to your pet’s health and happiness. Be a better pet owner by avoiding these three common mistakes that new pet owners are prone to making:
Ignoring unusual behavior
When your pet is acting abnormally, it shouldn’t be interpreted as something that will go away in a few days. As a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of your pet’s unique rhythms and behaviors. If you notice behavior that seems out of character for your pet, it’s time to bring your pet to a veterinary professional.
Encouraging bad habits early
It can be tempting to let your pet get away with misbehaving — they are adorable, after all! But once you find that these bad habits are hard to break, they might not be as adorable as they initially seemed. Because of this, it’s best to avoid encouraging them; don’t feed your pet scraps from the table or let him or her sleep in your bed unless you’re prepared to deal with doing this forever.
Avoiding spay and neuter procedures
It’s something we all ask: why spay and neuter your pets? The answer is that bringing your pet into the modern spay neuter clinic shouldn’t be optional — spaying and neutering keeps your pet healthier and better-behaved, and helps cut down on the number of unwanted animals euthanized in shelters every year.

Why Summer is the Right Time to Spay and Neuter Your Pets

It’s not just the mercury in your thermostat that rises during the hottest months of the year. In fact, summer is prime season for dogs and cats to have new litters of puppies and kittens. That’s why veterinarians and spay and neuter professionals across the country are advising pet owners on the importance of spaying and neutering your pet this season.

Still not exactly sure why you should spay and neuter your pets this summer? Here’s a look at the top three reasons to invest in this highly-important procedure before the end of the season:

Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.

As stated before, summertime is the top season for unaltered dogs and cats to reproduce. During this time of year, animal shelters become overwhelmed with litters of puppies and kittens whose owners simply couldn’t care for them; as a result, millions of these animals are euthanized. The number of stray animals spikes as well. While the idea of your pet having babies might seem cute for a time, it’s much more ethical to have him or her spayed or neutered.

Spaying and neutering makes your pet more obedient.

Another reason why you should spay and neuter your pets? This procedure makes pets more obedient and better-behaved. Pets who are spayed or neutered are less likely to wander away from home. When an astounding 85% of dogs who are hit by cars are unaltered, the procedure could actually save your pet’s life, as well.

Spaying and neutering keeps your pet living longer.

Spaying and neutering, which removes the animal’s reproductive organs, is the only 100% effective way to prevent certain cancers and infections. Spaying, for example, prevents uterine infections and breast cancer, the latter of which is fatal for 50% of female dogs and 90% of female cats. As a result, you’ll be able to ensure a happier, healthier life for your pet.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

Pets enrich the lives of people everywhere, adding joy and companionship to their owners’ lives. While many people strive to give their pets the highest level of care available, they often concentrate on feeding good foods, regular grooming, and taking pets to obedience class. Unfortunately, while veterinary care is a priority for pet owners, the importance of spaying and neutering your pet can be lost on many pet owners. There are many reasons why you should spay and neuter your pets for their health, and your sanity as an owner.

The most obvious benefits of neutering your pets include the decrease in pet overpopulation. This is an especially significant issue for cats, which are less likely to be adopted from shelters and harm the environment when left to roam freely. Because the number of stray and unwanted animals in communities decreases when pets are spayed or neutered, fewer animals are left in shelters or euthanized.

When you neuter or spay your cat or dog, you are sure to save money in long-term vet bills. Intact male cats and dogs are more likely to wander away from home, and are at a higher risk for testicular cancer than male pets who have been neutered before six months of age. When you neuter or spay your cat, his or her life span is increased by three to five years, while fixed dogs see a life span increase of one to three years. Many owners are concerned about the cost of having their pets fixed, but there are many dog and cat spay and neuter clinics that offer affordable surgery for low-income pet owners.

Spayed and neutered pets contribute to a more peaceful household. Spayed and neutered pets tend to be friendlier, more focused, and easier to train than their intact counterparts. Fixed pets also exhibit fewer aggressive behaviors, as well as refrain from unwanted actions like wailing and spraying.

Whether you are a cat person or a dog person, it is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep your companions happy and healthy, so be sure to have your pets spayed and neutered as early as possible to help them live a long and happy life.

Three Facts That Show Why Spaying and Neutering Really Matters

Springtime is here — and spring might just be the best time of the year to take advantage of the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet.

That’s because spring is peak breeding season for pets — and by choosing to neuter or spay your cat or dog now, before peak season begins, you can more easily find an affordable spay and neuter clinic near you to perform this procedure on your furry friend.

But why spay and neuter your pets? Why does it matter? Here are the top three problems that spay and neuter procedures help reduce and prevent:

Pet overpopulation

Each year, millions of cats and dogs are unable to find a home and end up in animal shelters or out on the streets as strays — or worse, they’re euthanized. The vast majority of these pets are the products of unplanned litters of puppies and kittens. The best and most effective way to help reduce the number of unwanted pets is to have your own pets spayed or neutered.

Behavioral issues

Having your dog or cat spayed or neutered — especially once they’re 3 months old or so — also prevents a number of bothersome behavioral problems from emerging. Neutered male dogs and cats are much less likely to roam away from home and can help diminish aggressive behaviors. Spayed female pets won’t go into heat, which means they will also be better-behaved.

Pet cancers and health conditions

If performed before the pet reaches six months of age, spaying and neutering completely eliminates the risk of your pet getting certain reproductive cancers. Testicular cancer, uterine infections and breast cancer are all preventable with a spay or neuter procedure. This in turn results in a longer, healthier and happier life for your pet!

Want to know more about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet — or are you having trouble finding an affordable spay and neuter clinic? Ask us any questions you may have about this by emailing us.