Preparing for Flea and Tick Season: What You Need to Know

Fleas and ticks thrive in moist, warm areas, which means that your pet in Tampa is at constant risk of flea and tick issues year round. However, the warmer the weather, the higher the population of fleas and ticks will be in the area. When it is the normal flea and tick season, which usually lasts from about March through the end of September, you may want to take additional precautions to protect your pet.

Maintain Flea and Tick Treatment

It is important that your pet has a year-round flea and tick treatment regimen. You have many options for this year-round protection. There are medications that your vet can prescribe that keep fleas and ticks at bay. There are also flea and tick collars, sprays, and other chemical solutions that can be used on both your pets and their surrounding environment. Make sure that if you are using medication or flea and tick collars that you keep up with the routine. Most of these only need to be replaced or given every three months, and it is an easy thing to forget. Make sure to mark your calendar so your pet will remain protected. Read more

Top 3 Reasons to Microchip Your Pet

It is every pet owner’s worst nightmare. You go to look for your pet, and it  is nowhere to be found. It’s lost. What happens next can vary greatly. For the best chances of having your pet returned to you in this situation, it is a good idea to have it  microchipped. Here are three excellent reasons to microchip your pet.

Help Your Pet Avoid the Pound

When your pet becomes lost, it  might be found by anyone. Most people who find a pet today will take it to a vet or shelter to have the pet’s microchip read, so that it can be returned to its owner. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, chances are good that it could end up in the city pound. If your pet ends up in the pound, you might not be able to find out where it is or if it  is okay. Your pet could get adopted out to another family, or may even be put to sleep if there is not room for it in the shelter. Read more

Saying Goodbye to Your Pet: Hospice and Euthanasia

Saying goodbye to your pet is often one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Everyone dreads hearing those words: “There is nothing more we can do.” When those words are spoken by your vet, you have some hard decisions to make. Keeping your pet alive or opting immediately for euthanasia is a choice that only you can make.

What is Hospice?

Veterinary hospice is very similar to the hospice that the healthcare industry uses for human patients. The primary purpose of veterinary hospice is to keep your pet as comfortable as possible for however long is necessary. You may want to keep your pet comfortable and put off euthanasia so that a family member can get home to say goodbye. You may want to allow your pet to die naturally rather than euthanizing them. Or, you may want to keep your pet comfortable for a period of time until you euthanize them on a predetermined date.

When you place your pet in hospice care, the vet will do everything they can to make your pet comfortable. Pain medications and other treatments for symptom management are the primary focus of this treatment. Most vets will also spend time supporting the family in whatever way they need. Read more

The First Things to Do When You Get a New Pet

Getting a new pet can be very exciting for you and your family, but there are some important first steps that you should take before your get your pet settled into their new home. Regardless of the type of pet you get, you want to make sure that the pet is healthy and has a fresh start in your home. Follow these steps to give your pet the best fresh start.

A Wellness Visit

It is important that you take your new pet into the vet for a wellness visit. If your new pet is a puppy or kitten, they will need to have their development measured and receive some basic vaccinations. If you have adopted an older pet, it is important to have them examined to determine if they have any health conditions you should be aware of.


You should get your new pet microchipped as soon as possible. Microchipping your pet will help make sure that they can find their way home if they get lost. If you are adopting an older pet, they may already have a chip. Take them to your vet to see if they have a chip and have the information updated to your contact information. Read more

Signs Your Pet Has Allergies

It may surprise you that just as humans have allergies, so too can your pets. Allergies can be to a particular item, foods, or seasonal allergies. The most common pets to have allergies are dogs. It can be difficult to tell if your dog has allergies, as the cause of the symptoms may not be apparent. You may also not realize that all of the symptoms are related to the same condition.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of allergies in your pet are similar to allergy symptoms for humans. You will likely notice that your pet’s skin is red and irritated. It may be tender to the touch as well. Pets will often be itchy when they are suffering from allergies, and they may have excessive shedding. Sometimes skin irritations can become infected due to scratching and bacteria entering the skin.

Other Signs Your Pet Has Allergies

There are some things that your pet might do if they are suffering from allergies. Paw licking is a sign of discomfort. Some pets may drag their butt across the floor or lick the anal region. They will likely be biting and scratching themselves as if they have fleas, but without any sign of pests. They may also have chronic ear infections or respiratory problems. Read more

Why You Should Microchip Your Pet

Many people consider their pet as a member of the family. Since we see them as one of us, shouldn’t we be taking the extra step to ensure their safety? Accidents happen, and sometimes our pets get lost. Microchipping is a safe and effective technology that allows us to recover our missing pets when these accidents do happen.

How is the Microchip Inserted?

Microchipping is a very quick process that can be done at a scheduled vet appointment. The implantation procedure is simple and virtually painless for your pets. The chip is inserted by one of our veterinarians through an injection, much like a vaccination. After the chip is inserted, you and the veterinarian can go through the microchip registration process together.

How Does the Microchip Work?

Brand new microchip technology has completely changed the microchip and recovery process to one that is very simple. The old system required tedious work, only for the chips to often not be in the database. Luckily, a new system was created by a group of rescuers known as Save This Life, and gave this process a much-needed update.

Now, if your pet becomes lost and is taken to a clinic or vet equipped with a scanner, the process to be reunited is much quicker. With this new system, all the microchips are available with a quick Google search. Simply have someone from the animal clinic scan for a microchip and search the chip number on Google. This will pull up your contact information and send you a GPS location with the location that your pet was found. Additionally, a Lost Pet Alert will be sent out to shelters and rescues within a 25-mile radius of your pet’s last known location. Read more

3 Facts You Should Know About Acupuncture For Animals

Acupuncture continues to grow in popularity in America, as men and women seek natural and holistic treatment options for their health problems. But humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the ancient art of acupuncture! This practice is even being used on animals! Here’s what you should know if you’re curious about the benefits and safety of acupuncture for your own family pet.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been practiced since the days of the days of the ancient Chinese. Tiny needles are inserted into specific parts of the body to produce a healing response.

This practice identifies precise points on the body and stimulates them for a certain amount of time. The stimulation achieved through acupuncture makes changes to the central nervous system that can relieve pain and resolve other existing problems.

How Can Acupuncture Be Used For Your Pet?

Known as veterinary acupuncture, the process is used the same way it is on humans. The conditions that respond most effectively to acupuncture include musculoskeletal, respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal problems. This means that anything from arthritis, nerve injury, asthma, and dermatitis can potentially be resolved using acupuncture, sometimes in tandem with other mainstream treatments.

Since acupuncture essentially helps the body heal itself by creating specific physiological changes, this can be a powerful tool for vets and pet lovers alike. It is one of the very safest forms of medical treatment for animals, and side effects are very rare. It goes without saying that only a licensed veterinarian is qualified to complete animal acupuncture Read more

3 Reasons Your Pet Needs to Be On a Flea Preventative

As a pet owner, you have an innate sense for your dog or cat’s wellbeing. You know the moment that scratching becomes too fierce or whines become too loud. It makes sense that you want to take every measure possible to keep your pet happy and healthy. In addition to nutritious food and regular walks, a flea preventative should be one of the essential tools you use to keep your pet in his best health.

Fleas Cause Allergic Reactions in Pets and Humans

Fleas are dark, tiny pests that jump from one place to another and feast on the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans. You can recognize fleas from these common symptoms:

  • “Flea dirt” in your pet’s fur
  • Allergic dermatitis on the skin of your pet
  • Excessive scratching, licking, and biting at the skin
  • Hair loss, especially in areas of excessive scratching and biting
  • Scabs and hot spots

Some dogs and cats can even develop anemia from flea infestation, and it’s possible for fleas to carry tapeworm eggs that are given to your pet. Read more

Halloween 101: How to Keep Your Pet Safe

You may not think of Halloween as a risky day for your pets, but the spooky holiday actually poses a number of threats to dogs and cats. Take the following precautions to help your pet have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Keep Candy In a Safe Place

It’s no secret that your dog shouldn’t be feasting on Twix bars on Halloween, so make sure all Halloween treats are stored in a place where your pets can’t access them. Chocolate in all forms is extremely dangerous for cats and dogs, and candy presents a choking risk. Some sugar-free candy even contains the sugar substitute xylitol, which is dangerous to animals.

Decorate With Care

It’s fun to decorate for Halloween with pumpkins, decorative corn, jack-o-lanterns, and candles, but think of the risks they pose to your pets. Curious kittens can easily pull decorations down or knock over flames, and dogs love to nibble on pumpkins and corn. Try to decorate your home with a “baby proof” mindset in order to keep your furry friends safe. Read more

Everything You Should Know About Pets and Car Safety

Florida law outlines specific requirements for child safety in vehicles, but pet safety is a largely overlooked concern. Whether you are driving your cat to the vet or taking your dog along to the beach, it’s important to take proper precautionary measures that keep your pet safe in the car. Use the following guide to double check your safety procedures and protect your furry friend.

Never, Ever Leave Your Pet Alone In a Parked Car

We’ve all heard the heart wrenching stories of babies who lose their lives because they are trapped in hot cars, and animals are just as vulnerable to such tragedies. Even with the windows open, a parked car becomes dangerously hot within minutes. After sitting just 10 minutes in 85-degree weather, your car reaches 104 degrees. Avoid the possibility of heatstroke and death by making sure your pet never stays alone in your parked car, even when the weather feels mild.

Restrain Your Dog Properly

Your dog may want to ride shotgun with the windows down, but there are many safety problems associated with that type of freedom. It is best to use some type of restraint to keep your dog in a safe space. Pet barriers are available to give your pet room to move while still keeping him safely contained behind the rear seat. It’s also possible to purchase a harness that functions like a doggy seatbelt. Read more