Posts Tagged 'American Animal Hospital Association'

“Treating” Your Pet Right

Good info from the American Animal Hospital Assocation website,

Pet owners have always liked to show their animal family a little extra love with the occasional treat, but modern treats have gone way beyond slipping Rover a little turkey under the kitchen table. These days pet owners can visit pet bakeries, buy frozen dog desserts at the grocery store, or make homemade treats from a pet treat cookbook. With all these options, how do you know the right thing to feed your pet?

The good side of treats

There’s nothing wrong with feeding your pet the occasional treat. Small amounts of tasty food can be great motivators if you’re trying to train your pet, or rewards to positively reinforce good behavior. These kinds of rewards can increase the bond between pets and owners, and some treats can even help your pet stay healthy. Best of all, it can be a lot of fun watching your pet savor a treat she really loves.

Treats can cause a few problems, however, if they aren’t given carefully.

Continue reading ‘“Treating” Your Pet Right’

Independence Day Weekend Reminder: Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix

As we approach the holiday weekend, please remember that July 4th celebrations can be a potentially dangerous and frightening time for pets.  While fireworks are not allowed within the Municipality of Anchorage, many people travel with their pets to see family, camp, and enjoy the holiday.  Help ensure the health and safety of your pet by following these tips: 

  • Keep your pet in a SECURE and quiet setting, like your home (make sure all windows and doors are closed);
  • Turning on a television or radio can mask the noise of fireworks, helping keep your pet calm;
  • Be certain your pet has a current MOA dog license, a current identification tag, and its rabies tag securely fastened to its collar;
  • In the unfortunate event that your pet does escape, check with the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center ASAP; and 
  • While the Center can be reached by phone at 343-8122, it is always best to come in person to look for your dog or cat every 2-3 days, as no one can identify your animal better than you.

Here is some more information on how pets can react to fireworks and what you can do to keep them safe from the American Animal Hospital Association:


Brad Benz remembers the Fourth of July he spent in Seattle with his Border collie mix, Maggie – and not in a good way. Continue reading ‘Independence Day Weekend Reminder: Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix’

Feline Life Stage Guidelines

Important information for all cat owners and lovers from the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners:


Though dogs are known as “man’s best friend,” cats are the most popular pet in America. But because cats can seem self-sufficient and tend to mask their pain, they don’t get as much veterinary care as dogs – about half as much in fact – even though cats also need regular preventative care at all ages. To help veterinarians and pet owners address this issue and develop lifelong health care plans for cats, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) joined forces to create the AAFP-AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines. This article includes highlights from the report.
Preventative Care Through Wellness Exams

Continue reading ‘Feline Life Stage Guidelines’

Bird Moving Guide

As the temperatures warm, more people may be getting for moves in the near future.  Here are some tips for moving with pet birds from the American Animal Hospital Association:

Don’t have a bird, but planning a move with a furry friend?  Check out our past post on how to move with your pets!

Safely move or travel with your feathered friend using these guidelines, developed with Dan Jordan, DVM, Animal Avian Hospital of the Village, Houston, Texas.

Some Birds Travel Better Than Others

Canaries, finches and budgies are easily stressed. Amazons usually travel well. Many Cockatoos and Macaws actually become stressed when their owners leave, so it is usually better to take these types of birds with you. Continue reading ‘Bird Moving Guide’

Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

From the American Animal Hospital Association website:


Our pets can’t tell us when they’re in pain – we have to notice the signs. If your puppy steps on a thorn and starts limping, it can be fairly obvious that his foot hurts. But often animals instinctively mask injury and illness to protect themselves from predators, so it can be challenging to detect when they’re in pain. To help veterinarians provide excellent care and educate pet owners about how to recognize when their pets are in pain and what to do, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) worked together to create the AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. Major highlights of these guidelines are included in this article.

Unexpected and Easily Overlooked Sources of Pain
Recognizing when your pet is in pain and quickly seeking treatment not only helps alleviate your pet’s suffering, but strengthens the bond between the two of you. Even subtle changes in your pet’s behavior are reasons to contact your veterinarian because these are the first signs of illness and pain. Sometimes these symptoms can be easily overlooked, particularly in cats. Often, for example, arthritis is attributed to “old age” in cats, rather than pain. Similarly, a cat that urinates inappropriately may have a painful lower urinary tract disease rather than a behavior issue.

Signs of Pain
Continue reading ‘Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats’

Dangerous Toys for Pets

From the American Animal Hospital Association website, www.healthypet.com

Fluffy may love her ball of yarn, and Rover may chase after that darn stick all day, but pet owners must be cautious when offering toys to their pets. Many household items that become pet toys, either with or without your knowledge, can be dangerous-even fatal-to your furry or feathered friend. If not used in the appropriate manner, some store-bought pet toys, too, can cause problems.

Pet owners should take note of the following potential toy hazards:

  • Sticks and bones can splinter and cause choking or vomiting, or they can perforate the mouth, throat or intestine. Hard bones can easily damage teeth. Instead, use hard, non-splintering chew toys to play fetch or to allow your pet to gnaw.
  • Soft, latex toys can be shredded by a chewing pet. If the toy includes a squeaking mechanism, the squeaker can be easily swallowed or cause choking.
  • Continue reading ‘Dangerous Toys for Pets’

Videotapping For Your Veterinarian

Here is a great article from the American Animal Hospital Association website:, by Nancy Kay, DVM

Nancy Kay, DVM

Rarely am I bothered by client misbehavior, but when a client answers their cell phone while we are in the midst of discussion, I admit to feeling a bit peeved.  So why in the world would I invite my clients to whip out their cell phones during the course of an office visit?  Because I want to see video of my patients’ symptoms! Unless you are like me- still using a cell phone that my daughter considers prehistoric- your cell phone allows you to have instant access to shooting video.  And if I can watch videotape of your pet’s confusing symptom or odd behavior, I’m more likely to figure out the underlying issue, more so than with just your verbal description (no offense intended).   And when I have a better sense of the underlying issue, I can more expediently, and often less expensively, guide you towards rational diagnostics and/or therapy. 

Continue reading ‘Videotapping For Your Veterinarian’

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is next week and some are already planning their shopping trips, whether it be to the supermarket for groceries or to the mall for early sales.  Please keep in mind the following information to help keep your pets safe and healthy this holiday season!

From the ASPCA,

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Talkin’ Turkey
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough
Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Continue reading ‘Holiday Pet Safety Tips’

Winter Pet Care

Volunteer Metis recently posted a great article on Quality Caretaking in the Cold for our pets.  If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely should!  Here is some more basic cold weather info for both dogs AND cats from the American Animal Hospital Association at their website:

Cold weather can be hard on pets, just like it can be hard on people. Sometimes owners forget that their pets are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their animals outside for extended periods of time, thinking that all animals are adapted to live outdoors. This can put their pets in danger of serious illness. There are things you can do to keep your animal warm and safe.

Take your animals for a winter check-up before winter kicks in. Your veterinarian can check to make sure they don’t have any medical problems that will make them more vulnerable to the cold.

Keep your pets inside as much as you can when the mercury drops. If you have to take them out, stay outside with them. When you’re cold enough to go inside, they probably are too. If you absolutely must leave them outside for a significant length of time, make sure they have a warm, solid shelter against the wind, thick bedding (hay is a great insulator that they can snuggle down in), and plenty of non-frozen water [see Metis’ article for directions on setting up an outdoor shelter for your dog]. Try leaving out a hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel so it won’t burn your pet’s skin.

Continue reading ‘Winter Pet Care’

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