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Valentine’s Day Toxins for pets

Valentine’s Day Toxins for pets

It’s the Love month! Love is in the air for many of us, but sometimes the wrong kind of love can put our pets in danger! The following are common toxins that are frequently seen during Valentine’s Day.
Please keep these in mind over Valentine’s Day.

Common Toxins to pets:

· Lilies:
frequently sold in Flower Shops and delivered for this special day. The toxin in this beautiful flower can be found in the petals, leaves, pollen or in the vase water. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. They can cause acute kidney failure within one or two days of exposure. If not treated, death is likely. Ingestion of just one or two leaves or petals is enough to kill a cat. For dogs, usually just mild Gastrointestinal upset is seen. The signs of lily toxicity include:

o Salivation

o Vomiting

o Reduced appetite

o Lethargy

· Chocolate:
How much chocolate is deadly? The main toxic ingredient, theobromine is a chemical similar to caffeine but it’s highly toxic to both dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous as it contains more theobromine than the lighter chocolate. White chocolate has very little theobromine and is not usually toxic.
The dose of chocolate is what depends on the toxic level to create harm. If your pet only ingests a couple of small chocolate pieces it is unlikely that they will become infected. For milk chocolate, ingestion of 0.5 ounces per pound of the dog’s body weight may put dogs at risk. Ingestions of 0.1 ounces of dark chocolate per pound of body weight may cause poisoning. Most ingestions of Bakers Chocolate are considered emergencies. Do to the large amount of fat in chocolate; some patients may develop pancreatitis after ingesting chocolate, baked or any other goods. Signs of chocolate poisoning include:

o Mild to severe vomiting

o Diarrhea

o Excessive thirst and urination

o Agitation

o Increased and/or abnormal heart rate

o Seizures, tremors and collapse

· Chocolate covered raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Grapes, currants and sultanas also fall into this category. Not all dogs will develop kidney failure after eating grapes or raisins but since we do not know which dogs will be sensitive to these fruits they are best to be cause for concern and kept away from your pets.

Even just a couple of grapes or raisins can cause an emergency situation with a small dog under 20 pounds.

 Signs of Grapes or Raisins toxicity include:

o Vomiting within hours of ingestion

o Within 1 to 4 days of ingestion dogs can develop increased urination, increased thirst, lethargy and lack of appetite.

· Chocolate covered Espresso Beans:
Typically covered with dark chocolate, these beans may be delicious Valentine’s morning for people but they are very dangerous to both dogs and cats. They include large amounts of theobromine. Pets can be sensitive to the effects of both theobromine as well as caffeine. While one or two beans usually won’t cause a problem, larger amounts can cause death. So please keep your gourmet coffee bean bag high up and out of the reach of your dogs and cats! The signs of Toxicity are the same as the above chocolate covered raisins.

· Plain and Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts:
The poisoning is typically in dogs only and has not yet been reported in cats. The toxin in the macadamia nut has yet to be identified but the mechanism may involve motor neurons, muscle fibers and neurotransmitters. Within 3 to 6 hours the dog may exhibit lethargy, vomiting, and hyperthermia. Within 6 to 12 hours, hind end limb weakness, difficulty in walking, tremors and collapse may occur. There may also be signs of abdominal pain, lameness in one or all limbs, joint stiffness and very pale mucous membranes.

· Xylitol: 
A commonly used natural sugar substitute that can be found in just about every sweet goodie you can find. Gum, breath mints, candy, sugar free cake or muffin mixes, most baked goods, and even nicotine gum. Xylitol may cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar as well as acute liver damage in dogs. So deadly that a 10 lb. dog who ingests just one piece of gum could be at risk for death. Signs of Toxicity include:

o Within 10-15 minutes of ingestion, a drop in blood sugar (Hypoglycemia), loss of coordination, and vomiting.

o Collapse and Seizure may quickly follow. Rare occurrences have found that these symptoms sometimes are not seen for hours after ingestion.
There are many other household toxicities.

· Human medications

· Flowers

· Fertilizers

· Pest Control products
So for this Valentine’s Day, let’s be extra careful in keeping our pet’s safe!
Try something wholesome, homemade and made by our very own member! See Furbabies Delectable Delights for a safe, homemade dog treat for Valentine's Day!

Thank you for taking the time out to notice these potential dangers in and around your home and for doing all you do in making sure your pet’s cannot reach any of them.

Happy Valentine's Day 
from the Az Pet Professionals! 

Spay And Neuter Awareness Month

Spay And Neuter Awareness Month

Non-Neutered male dogs and cats are
more likely to "spray" or "mark" their
territories with urine. Do you want this
in your house? 

February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month and we'd like to help spread the word of the importance of spaying and neutering your dogs and cats.

You may have read the popular article before but for those of you who haven't, we wanted to post it once more. The author is unknown and therefore shareable.

If you need more information on spaying or neutering your pet, please call one of our veterinarians. They will review with you the importance of spaying and neutering and schedule your pre-spay or neuter exam. Please read on.....

Merle says, "Please spay and neuter your pets!"


1. “Just one Litter and then we’ll have “Fluffy” spayed. (Studies show that the entire pet overpopulation stems from the “just one litter” mentality.)

2. “My dog doesn’t run loose, so he doesn’t need to be fixed.” (Murphy’s Law says otherwise.)

3. “We always find homes for the kittens/puppies.” (And that means that an equal number of kittens or puppies at the pound will be killed.)

4. “I want the children to witness the miracle of birth.” (Rent a video. Oh yes, and also make sure they witness the killing of innocent recently “birthed” kittens and puppies.)

5. “My dog is so cute and unique; there should be more of her.” (The shelters and pounds are full of cute and unique pets, most with only a few days to live.)

6. “It’s not natural.” (There hasn’t been anything “natural” about dogs since we began to develop breeds thousands of years ago.)

7. “I just couldn’t look my dog in the eye if I had him castrated.” (Watch it, you’re anthropomorphizing.)

8. “A female dog or cat should have at least one litter for health reasons.” (Medically, factually and ethically, indefensible.) (You actually reduce the chances of testicular, mammary and uterine cancer if spayed or neutered.)

9. “Neutering my dog will make him fat and lazy.” (Too much food and not enough exercise make a dog fat and lazy.) 

10. “Fixing my pet will change it’s personality.” (The primary influences on an animal’s personality are the kindness and care with which it is raised.)

If your pet is not spayed or neutered please schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians today and get it done! Thank you for promoting responsible pet ownership!

National Pet Dental Awareness Month

February is National Pet Dental Awareness Month

Dental Disease is not pretty! 

All images used are courtesy of Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic, our San Tan Valley Veterinarians, with the pet owner's permission.
Feline Oral Growth of the
lower jaw
Severe canine periodontal disease
of the upper left mouth
Painful Oral Lesions 
Severe Calculus, Swelling, Loose Teeth
of the lower jaw of a dog
Serious Periodontal Disease
of the lower canine mouth

Many times pet owners wait too long to address their pet’s oral health. Most of the time it’s neglected until the pet owner simply cannot stand the mouth smell anymore! Can you imagine having to live with a mouth that looked like one above?

Below are some of the most common reasons pet owners wait until last minute to address their pet’s dental disease:

· Cost of the entire dental or periodontal procedure ($400-$,1,200 or higher)

· Unable to make time for an appointment (Yes, we are all busy, but………)

· Not thoroughly educated in serious problems that can occur when you don’t care for your pet’s teeth! This is just a simple fact! Not all pet owners look inside their pet’s mouth!

Below are some common signs of dental disease:

· Foul breath

· Drooling with or without blood tinged saliva

· Chewing food on only one side of the mouth

· Pawing at mouth and/or rubbing face on floor or carpet

· Trying to bite when you touch around face (sign of pain)

· Always acting hungry (because they are unable to eat with bad teeth)

· Not wanting to eat (hurts to eat)

There are four stages of gum disease.

1. Stage 1- presents with reddened gingival tissues. This is the initial stage. Bad breath is one of the first signs. Your veterinarian should include an oral examination each and every time your pet comes in for an appointment.

2. Stage II- presents as the early stage of gum disease. Signs include moderate reddening of the gums, swelling and some tartar. Most animals are between the ages of one and four. Cats sometimes are affected later. With scaling, polishing and home care, this stage is usually curable.

3. Stage III- presents established periodontal disease. This stage appears as swelling, inflammation and the beginning of pocket formation around teeth. This marks the change from gingivitis which is reversible with treatment, to periodontitis which is controllable with therapy, but not curable. The patient presents with extremely strong “smelly breath.”

4. Stage IV- appears as severe inflammation of the gums (bleeding on contact), deep pockets around the teeth, gum recession, bone loss, pustular discharge, and tooth mobility. The severe inflammation and pain in some cases causes the animals to rub their face, drop food while eating, and drool excessively. Although treatable, stage IV is not curable.

Teeth cleaning:

Teeth cleaning is accomplished with the use of both hand scalers and high speed ultrasonic power scalers. Both should be used. Hand instruments include scalers, curets, explores, and probes that check for abnormalities and periodontal pockets.

There are several steps to a complete dental procedure.

Step One is the oral examination.
Once under general anesthesia your pet will be checked for facial swellings, unevenness, swollen lymph glands, discoloration, and any fractured teeth. All abnormal findings will be noted on your pet’s permanent dental record.

Checking the mobility of the teeth is also part of the oral examination.
Teeth are anchored in the jaw by the periodontal ligament. Unfortunately due to trauma or disease, teeth can become mobile which can cause great pain for your pet.

Ÿ Grade I mobility- indicates slight movement up to 1 millimeter.

Ÿ Grade II mobility- indicates movement up to 2 millimeters.

Ÿ Grade III mobility-signifies movement of 3 millimeters or more.

Step Two is the mechanical and manual removal of tartar and calculus from the crown or (above the gumline.) This is performed by both a hand scaler and a high power electrical scaler (Ultra Sonic.) The high speed ultrasonic scaler works by vibrating the calculus off the tooth.The scaler is used with constant motion across the teeth.

Step Three of the prophy is the removal of deposits below the gumline or sub-gingival. 

Full Mouth X-Rays
This shows the disease process below the gums where we can’t see! It shows the health or disease of each tooth at the root tip. This is very important for all dental procedures so disease processes under the gum line are not missed!

For teeth to be extracted the Veterinarian is the only person qualified to do so. Teeth extractions are much more difficult than people understand. The roots of the teeth are embedded in the jaw bone. The teeth are extracted using a high speed electrical drill and elevators. It’s not as easy as tying a string around the tooth and slamming the door shut!

The fourth step of the complete prophy is post extraction X-Rays and polishing the teeth. Scaling creates minute scratches or divots on the enamel. If left untreated the small divots attract plaque which can lead to early gingivitis. Polishers used to deliver paste to the teeth are electric slow speed or air driven slow speed.  

The fifth step is irrigation. The teeth and gingival sulci are flushed to remove debris from the prophylaxis procedure. This removes potentially harmful irritants from the gum pocket.

The final step (sixth step) is the post prophy exam and home care instructions. Home care includes those things the client does at home to provide preventative care. The main form of home care is daily brushing. Home care instructions are essential for continued patient progress. Awareness, timely dental prophylaxis when needed, and home care contribute to longer lives for their pets and the better their pet’s breath will smell better!

Diet is also an important issue for dental care.
Harder foods tend to decrease the rate of plaque deposit in comparison to softer foods. Clients should be advised that some bones can be harmful. Chewing on bones can break teeth and cut into the gum tissue. Horse or cow hooves, deer antlers, can all cause fractured teeth.

Dental care does not end once the teeth are cleaned. Long term dental programs are outlined individually by the veterinarian for each patient. Some animals need monthly rechecks while others without observable disease can be reexamined yearly. Most middle aged dogs and cats should have a minimum of two per year. Patients with grade IV periodontal disease should be re-examinations every 3-6 months.

Appropriately created at the beginning of the year, National Pet Dental Health Month gives you a great start to a new year on taking care of your pet’s teeth!

Thank you pet parents! Call one of our Veterinary Clinics to schedule your pet's dental exam now!

Cobblestone Veterinary

Business Phone: 480-897-1888

Professional Website address:

Hours of operation:

Mon8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tue8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Thu8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sat9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Dr. Amy Jundt
Dr. Andrew Marsh

In 2014, Dr. Amy Jundt was certified in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture through the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. For more information on Acupuncture, what it is, how it works, what conditions can it help, what to expect, cost and more, click the following link:

On September 22nd, 2015, The doctors and staff celebrated their 3rd year in business!  Looks like they had some real fun! 

Check out a Yelp review from a client whose pet is receiving acupuncture from Dr. Jundt! 

5.0 star rating
I absolutely adore working with Dr. Amy Junt! My dog has been receiving acupuncture with her for about six months now and her symptoms have truly improved! More than relief from the pain she was experiencing, she is now exhibiting less anxiety which is amazing. Dr. Jundt takes the time that is needed to calm and comfort her for acupuncture and other procedures. We love her and would recommend her to anyone.

Dr. Andrew Marsh and Dr. Amy Jundt feel strongly about spending quality time with their clients and patients. The ambiance of their practice is that of low stress, quiet and never too busy. 

Their staff consists of pet lovers, Shannon, Samantha, and Jessie. Well educated, fun and energetic, this staff will love your pets like their own!

Location: 1721 East Warner Road, Ste. C3
Tempe, Az 85284

Rub Down Dog-Canine Massage


Dr. Sue Davis, owner of Rub Down Dog

Rub Down Dog is a canine massage service that helps benefit your dog in many ways. It's about time, right? Older dogs, dogs who do agility and many others can now enjoy this amazing service!

Az Pet Professionals are honored to have such an amazing service and owner Dr. Sue Davis; as part of our network group! 

Just a small taste about Dr. Davis and her expertise:
She has 35 years in the healthcare field, science and education, is a writer and researcher! Dr. Davis decided to devote her skills to working with dogs in 2006, and Rub-Down Dog Canine Massage was born.
Dr. Davis was a nationally certified paramedic for ten years, worked in biophysics research at the University of Pennsylvania, and served as Academic Dean of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at RainStar University in Scottsdale. (Click link to Rub-Down Dog to read even more!)Rub-Down Dog Canine Massage

Some Benefits of canine massage are: 
Can reduce pain and stiffness, improves flexibility and motion and so much more! This is great for our older dogs with arthritis! 
To read more about the benefits canine massage offers for your dog, click here:!page3/cee5

Dr. Sue Davis has been with Az Pet Professionals for a year now. We couldn't be more excited to share her services! 
Please help us to spread the word about Rub Down Dog to other pet owners by sharing her website! We know there are many pets who could benefit from canine massage and the many other services Dr. Davis offers. Rub Down Dog's website:
Thank you!

Dr. Sue Davis's contact information

Business Phone: 480-650-4459
Business Website:
Rub-Down Dog Canine Massage at:

Happy New Year 2016- Safety tips for pets!

New Year’s Eve is the party of the year and it’s just days away! 

Purchased Standard License from
A Dog's Life Photography

As many of us get ready to ring in 2016 we need to remember to keep our pets safe as well! Most pets don't appreciate the loud pops, the colorful confetti, the party favors, the noise, and the many guests that come into our homes on New Year's Eve. 
It's a (People event, not a pet event!)

Many pet's can escape easily with doors opening and closing throughout the evening. 
This is one great reason that Microchipping your pet is so important. Wearing a proper fitting color, tags with current owner information are also important. If you find that your pet has gone missing; make sure to start looking immediately. Don't wait thinking he'll come home. 
Post LOST signs with a picture of your pet. Use your cell phone number as a contact and never post your home address. 
Drive to the nearest Animal Control and check it daily. If neighbors have spotted your pet but were unable to catch him, you might seek the assistance of our Missing Pet Detective, Deborah Cooke. If your pet is still near, Deborah's team of canine detectives could still pick up their scent! 

Happy Holidays!

Yappy Holiday’s 2015! 

Please don't forget to check out all of our pet expert pages for assisting you in your holiday pet shopping and needs!
Professional Photo Courtesy of A Dog's Life Photography
With the holiday's here and many of us with deadlines for shopping, decorating and visiting friends, please keep in mind that the holiday’s can be stressful for our pet’s as well. New faces, guests, and pet sitters can add to that stress. Each time a guest enters your home pets can be exposed to a new level of stress. Some positive, some negative. Some pets are locked away while guests are in their home while others are allowed to roam free. Doors, gates and garages are opened and closed frequently. The opportunity for escape is hard to believe! Winter holidays are one of the top seasons of the year that pets are lost.

Microchip your pet! This aides in recovering lost pets all year round. It is your pet’s personal identification number. The Veterinarian implants the chip under your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. 

  •  Please inform your guests not to feed your pet scraps. 
  • Please do not allow children to harass your pet 
  • Please keep a routine for your pet 

Never give your pet chocolate! 

It can be highly toxic to animals! 

Chocolate can cause stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea. It is all too common to see pets with vomiting and diarrhea after a holiday. Some become seriously ill.

Dangerous Holiday Paraphernalia: 

  • Plastic six pack beverage holders 
  • Electric cords 
  • Glass ornaments 
  • Ribbons and tinsel. 
  • Foil 
  • Rubber bands 
  • Pine needles. If your pet ingests a pine needle, there is a danger of internal organs being pierced by the needles 

A view of potentially poisonous plants 
from Dr. Michael Knight

Dr. Michael Knight, a veterinarian at the ASPCA’s National Poison Control Center in Urbania, Ill. 
Said: “Poinsettias have a history of being fairly toxic. More recently it’s been found that they are not what we consider life-threatening at all. Occasionally we’ll get a call where a dog has eaten a large quantity of the poinsettia plant.

The dog will have some digestive upsets, vomiting and diarrhea—but I don’t think we’ve actually seen any deaths associated with poinsettias over the years---- and we’ve gotten hundreds of calls. 
In our opinion, they are not a hazard to dogs or cats. Neither are Holly Berries and Mistletoe,” says Knight, who added that the Poison Control Center doesn’t get many calls about pets ingesting holly berries, mainly because the leaves are thorny and spiny and don’t taste great. 
  • Mistletoe is not considered deadly but Knight warns that the plant does contain a natural compound that can cause heart problems. 
  • Don’t be afraid to decorate for Christmas. Just taking a few precautions will ensure the safety of your family and your pets to have a safe and wonderful holiday. Just to be safe, place those beautiful holiday plants up high and out of reach of pets and children. " 

The Dangers of Xylitol in dogs

Most everyone knows that chocolate should be kept out of reach of dogs.
By now you’ve also heard about another threat that is common in many household items and food. Xylitol.

The new types of artificial sweeteners contain ingredients even more dangerous than chocolate.

The main culprit is the artificial sweetener, Xylitol. Xylitol is found in many brands of gum and candy.

What makes this ingredient dangerous is that, although the human body can metabolize these complex molecules, the canine body is unable to do so. Also, it seems that once they contact Xylitol in particular, it tastes so sweet that they find it literally irresistible.

The complex un-metabolizable molecule is actually a sugar alcohol not a true sugar. Due to its inability to be broken down like normal sugars by the liver and pancreas, it fails the kidneys to filter it out like other un-process able substances. However, the action of the kidneys is not enough to prevent the level of Xylitol in the blood from reaching a critical level. The animal will experience an overdose, even from a single piece of gum. The net effect of all of this leads to a Grand Mal type seizure within 24 hours of ingestion. Dogs who consume xylitol also are at risk of liver failure for unexplained reasons in some dogs that consume it. 

The animal may experience as many as 3 more seizures within a 24 hr. period. These symptoms are caused by an apparent acute onset of hypoglycemia which causes lack of coordination, collapsing and seizures. If your pet ingests a product with Xylitol please head straight to the nearest ER Clinic!

that your dog might have ingested products containing Xylitol as a sweetener can show up quickly, sometimes within 30 minutes of eating the product. According to Dr. Eric Dunayer, a veterinarian and toxicologist for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, dogs that have ingested small amounts of Xylitol might be affected but not show signs until up to 12 hours afterward. Signs your dog has ingested a product containing Xylitol as a sweetener include an abrupt drop in blood sugar, vomiting, depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

If you find that your dog has consumed a product containing Xylitol as a sweetener, call your veterinarian immediately. If the dog is exhibiting symptoms, take him to the vet’s office or the nearest emergency animal hospital immediately.

To prevent Xylitol poisoning, dog owners should be aware of products that often contain Xylitol as a sweetener, and keep those products out of reach of their dogs. 
They include: candy, chewing gum, breath fresheners, smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum, toothpastes, sunscreen and some vitamins and diet supplements.

It has now been shown that cats are NOT at risk!

Recent information has revealed that xylitol is not known to be toxic to cats. They do not develop low blood sugar, nor do they develop liver failure. Prior to this the presumption was made, based upon extrapolation from dogs, that cats would suffer similar effects. Due to the fact that cats don’t frequently expose themselves to xylitol, it apparently took quite a while for all of the information to come out.

24 hour emergency Hospitals & ASPCA Poison Control

Photo courtesy of
Visual Harmony Photography

  • Emergency Animal Clinic: (EAC) (Gilbert) 480-497-0222. 
86 West Juniper Ave. Located at Gilbert Road between Guadalupe and Elliot on the west side of the road. Gilbert, Az 85233.
  • First Regional Animal Hospital: (Chandler) 480-732-0018. 1233 W. Warner Rd. Chandler, Az, 85244. On The SW Corner of Alma School and Warner. 

· 1st Emergency Pet Care: (Mesa) 480-924-1123
1423 S. Higley Rd, Ste. 102, Mesa, Az, 85206. Us 60 and Higley

· EAC in Scottsdale: 480-949-8001
14202 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, Az, 85254.

· VCA Paradise Valley Emergency Animal Hospital: 6969 E. Shea Blvd. Suite 225. 480-991-1845

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-426-4435
(Expect a Consultation Fee. Have a Credit Card available)

The Az Pet Professionals 

wish you all a very happy holiday season! 
Photo courtesy of
Visual Harmony Photography

TLC House and Pet Sitting Services, LLC

  TLC House and Pet Sitting

Servicing parts of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. 

Please check out Kara's Professional Pet Sitting Services below by clicking on her social media links.

Business Website:

Business Telephone: 480-588-1364

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Board of Directors 2010-2015.
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Annual Conference & Governance Committee. 
Arizona Professional Pet Sitters and Associates, Vice President  2007-2011, President 2012-2014.

Howland Studios-Scottsdales premier fine artist!

April Howland has been an integral part of Az Pet Professionals for nearly 5 years now. Her beautiful fine art is an honor to showcase. April recently held a successful
fine art Event in Scottsdale featuring her "Cars & Dogs" paintings. She truly is amazing and we can't wait for you to see what she has coming out next! Please see April's website for more photo's of her successful gallery show!

Howland Studios website:
Howland Studios Facebook:

April Howland

Adopt a senior pet this month!

Adopt a senior pet this month!

Photograph courtesy of
Jill Flynn, owner.

Why adopt an old dog?
Let's take a look at some known facts when it comes to the way people think about adopting an older dog.

What are families looking for?
Prospective families looking to adopt a new dog typically focus on one thing and that one thing is usually about adopting a puppy. Families want a puppy so that they “can grow with the family” or “is cute and cuddly."
Understandable in some situations but what about the older dogs available or the single or older couple looking to add an addition to their family?

Photograph courtesy of 

Is it really a good idea for a senior citizen person to adopt a young puppy that might live for 17+ years, possibly outliving them?
Too often that pet ends up at the pound because none of the remaining family are willing or able to take over the responsibility of the pet after the owner has passed away. It's a terribly sad predicament but it happens often.

Raising a puppy can be lot of work!
If you’re retired and are convinced you want a puppy instead of an older dog make sure your retirement is not going to get in the way of providing all the needs that a new puppy comes with. 

As for a young family.

If you do not have kids yet, what happens when and if you do? Will you be the "All too familiar" couple that says “We need to find a home for Buster because we have a new baby now and just don’t have time for him.”
If you adopt a pet and afterwards have children, be prepared to incorporate your pet into your new family. It’s not fair to Buster if give him up once your bouncing baby comes along. There are many resources that can assist you in preparing Buster for the new addition to the family therefore making the transition much easier and with a happier outcome for all.

We know of several Professional Dog Trainers that use positive reinforcement training. Call us for more information.

So why do people forget or simply neglect the fact that there are many senior pets that are also looking for their fur-ever homes?

Let's remember this.
When a family gives up an older pet; whatever the circumstance, what happens to that pet?
Too often the pet ends up at the nearest Rabies Animal Control, or the pound or taken to a No-Kill Animal Shelter........ IF they are lucky enough to find a shelter that has intake room.
In my opinion, another reason people by pass an older dog is that they think a senior dog will have major health issues and they don't want to deal with it mentally and financially. But do you know that puppies can also get sick?

So what is the cost of a new puppy?
Of course not that adopting a puppy can't be very fulfilling and amazing as well but we are focusing on senior pets this month so please take that into consideration while reading this article. I am not trying to disway your adopting a puppy if that truly fits your situation the best. 

On average a new puppy can cost a family $1,000 or more their first year of life. 
The factors that may lessen that amount are:
  1. If the puppy is already spayed or neutered from a shelter or adoption facility.
  2. If the puppy has already received it's first vaccines from the place of adoption.
  3. If the puppy is already microchipped from the place of adoption. 
  4. There is also some rescues that de-worm, and start the puppies on heart worm prevention.
Courtesy of, It's a Dogs Life Phothography, Owner, Susan Richey

Truth of the matter is, this may save you initial costs but you will still need on-going care! 
Here's a list of some of the on-going care you will assume when adopting a puppy.
  • The remainder of the puppy's vaccines and veterinarian appointments. 
  • Monthly heart worm preventative and a heart worm TEST at the age of one.
  • House training supplies (Repetitiveness and being available to dedicate yourself to training.)
  • A dog trainer for social needs and/or if you are having issues with your pup. Your puppy will benefit greatly from a basic obedience training class. Socialization for your puppy is most important between the ages of 8 to 16 weeks and most earlier. 
  • Grooming appointments. Cute and fluffy puppies will need to have their first puppy grooming typically around 2-4 months of age and ONLY once your veterinarian feels comfortable with  your puppy's vaccine status.) Why do you need to groom your puppy? If you adopt a breed that requires regular grooming, this is a life time cost.
  • Crate training will be good for your puppy if you plan on using it for sleeping quarters or for his "safe place" when too many people are around. Remember, crate training is not only for the safety of your pet but it should be a fun place for him, his den! Dogs are den dwelling animals, therefore having a place of his own is a good thing. Never, ever scold a puppy and then put them inside their crate! It needs to be a positive place!
  • Your new pup will also need something to sleep on! A pet bed is a must!
  • Appropriate toys (each stage of pups life might require new toys) toys are an on-going expense and must be monitored when in use for your pups safety.
  • Collars and harnesses for outdoor fun are an obvious need. Safe and appropriate harnesses and collars. No shock! No Choke and no Bark collars!
  • Food and water bowls to accommodate breakfast and dinner is also a must have! 
What if you are going out of town?
Do you know a professional pet sitter that you can trust to care for your pup's needs? All of them?

All of the above puppy needs are likely more expensive than if you scheduled an appointment for your newly adopted senior pet with your veterinarian for a complete medical exam. Your veterinarian might order some or all of the following.

A geriatric profile (blood panel,) a urinalysis and maybe even a chest or abdominal X-Ray so that he or she has a starting foundation for your pet's current health status.
For geriatrics with signs of arthritis, please keep in mind that Sun Lakes Animal Hospital (480-895-7633) has Cold Laser Therapy. It's a painless way to help with arthritis.

Something to remember…. Senior pets are most likely already obedient, house trained and most bad habits have been gone for a long time! (Chewing on shoes, eating the couch, digging in the yard, etc.) It’s really your perfect pet! They can be just as fun as any other dog, and one thing is for sure, they will be loyal and thankful to you for the rest of their life.

Courtesy of Cow Dreamz Photography
Owner Michelle Pelberg

If the above has not convinced you…..some animal shelters will have a senior dog examined by a veterinarian prior to placing it up for adoption. 
Often health issues, blood work, urinalysis and sometimes even dental issues have already been addressed and treated. Most shelters will not adopt a pet without a microchip and current vaccines. That is a huge savings! If you ever wondered why the adoption fees vary, well, a Rescue Group is a Non-Profit Group and they depend on the adoption fees to keep them in business so they can continually rescue more pets. They are known to spend enormous amounts on their rescue animals just to get them adopted in to a fur-ever home. The adoption fee you pay covers just part of what they've actually spent.

So what will I get by adopting an older dog?
What you most likely will inherit is a loving pet that simply longs for his fur-ever family to live happily for the rest of his Golden Years and to be loved and cherished. Period. Faithful to the end. You won't regret it. 

Courtesy of Cow Dreamz Photography
Owner Michelle Pelberg

If you haven’t thought of this before but are thinking you may have a change of heart, please don’t turn away from the senior pets you encounter while searching for your perfect pet. Remember these positive facts about how wonderful you will feel and how thankful and forever grateful your new senior pet will be if you take them into your hearts.

For further information on senior pets for adoption, please check out several links.

While there are plenty more websites you will find on the Internet, please investigate thoroughly to make sure they are a legitimate Non-Profit rescue or foundation.

Thanks pet owners! Kim MacCrone- CVT

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