Services2019-05-03T14:21:17+00:00

Wellness Care

The Value of Your Pet’s Annual Physical Exam

We know that your pet’s health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to you, as it is to us. Our veterinarians are always evaluating our recommendations for preventative care such as vaccines and the annual check-up.

Many of you bring your pets in for an annual exam when it’s time to update vaccinations. While one visit can take care of both of these important needs, the annual physical examination is perhaps the single most important part of the visit with the veterinarian. Routine examinations give your veterinarian the opportunity to create a bond with your pet and establish what is “normal” so that they can more quickly detect when something is wrong.

Because of the natural changes in a senior pet (they age must faster than humans), it important that your veterinarian sees your senior pet more frequently throughout the year to ensure they stay happy and well during their older years. Your veterinarian will discuss any changes they notice as they move in to middle age and discuss different treatment options. Talking to your vet during the physical exam about any changes you’re noticing in your pet will help them determine a plan of care based on your pet’s individual needs. Veterinary experts recommend twice yearly visits to detect and treat any issues before they become a bigger problem.

What Happens During Your Pet’s Physical Exam?

Each pet is given a thorough assessment during the veterinary physical exam that is essential to a lifetime of wellness. During a physical examination, your veterinarian checks your pet from nose to tail, checking their eyes, ears, nose and mouth and takes the time to check for any lumps and bumps. Your pet feels like they’re getting fussed on, but palpation or “feeling” is a really important assessment tool. Your veterinarian will also listen to heart and lung sounds.

During the exam it’s important to discuss changes in your pet’s attitude, behavior, appetite and general wellbeing. All of these things may give your veterinarian some insight into your pet’s individual needs.

Other annual tests such as bloodwork, gives your veterinarian an “inside look” at the functioning of the internal organs that can’t always be detected by feeling or listening. Also, regular bloodwork, parasite screenings and urinalysis establish a “baseline” each year so that your veterinarian can quickly see if there are any changes in the body systems since their last visit.

Your veterinarian will chat with you about parasites; those that live outside the body and in (yuck!). Heartworm is a serious disease, spread by mosquitos, and can only be detected with a blood test. Your veterinarian will check your pet’s stool for any obvious or microscopic intestinal parasites and discuss with you preventative options – remember many parasites can be spread from animals to humans.

Reducing the stress of a veterinary visit

We know that getting a cat to the veterinary office can be a stressful situation for the whole household. We do not want this to be the reason why cats do not see a veterinarian on a routine basis! Learn more about how to reduce the stress of a veterinary visit for you and your cat. Learn More

Puppy Care

Recommended Care & Training Tips

Caring for your puppy

Congratulations on welcoming a new puppy into your family. Owning a dog can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Below you will find information about caring for your puppy.

If you have any questions please give us a call at 928.445.2190

The Puppy Plan

For the first few months in life, puppies are protected from disease by antibodies they received through their mother’s milk. Over time, this protection fades and they need vaccines in order to continue being protected from diseases such as parvovirus and distemper.

Vaccines stimulate the puppy’s own immune system to recognize and fend off certain diseases, but it takes multiple vaccines (boosters) to get them fully protected. Puppies need to have their vaccine repeated several times at regular intervals to make certain they build good immunity.

In general, most puppies start their vaccine series when they are 6-9 weeks old.

Overview of the vaccine series and puppy plan:
DAPP is a vaccine that protects against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza.
Bordetella is a vaccine that protects against kennel cough.

6-9 weeks: Exam and DAPP #1
9-12 weeks: Exam, DAPP #2 and Bordetella #1
12-16 weeks: Rabies, DAPP #3, Bordetella #2
Often puppies are not 6-9 weeks old at their first visit, or they may have received vaccines while they were with the breeder. If this is the case, your veterinarian will adjust the vaccine schedule to fit your puppy’s specific situation and explain any changes to you during your appointment. Depending on the breed, your veterinarian will also discuss if your pet is at a higher risk and should receive additional vaccines.

Puppies are not considered protected until they have finished their entire vaccine series.

Canine Licensing Requirements

How do I know if I live in city/county/town limits? Check with the Yavapai County Assessor’s Office or your City or Town Hall for the most accurate and up to date information. In most cases if you receive city trash or city/town water you are located within the city/town limits.

THE CITY OF PRESCOTT:

All dogs 4 months of age and older must be licensed with the City of Prescott within 60 days of being in the city. All City of Prescott dog licenses expire on December 31 each year. View the complete City of Prescott ordinance

Licensing Locations:
You may license your pet in person at Prescott City Hall at 201 S. Cortez Street in Prescott. Please bring your pet's rabies vaccination certificate and spay/neuter certificate (if applicable) with you.

You may license your pet in person at most participating veterinary hospitals

Required Paperwork:
  • A current rabies vaccination certificate is required if the rabies vaccination on file has expired. Please check your certificate for correct address and pet information. Rabies vaccinations must be valid through October 1 in order for a license to be issued.
  • Proof of spay/neuter, such as a signed statement from a veterinarian or an invoice for services is required if the pet has been altered since the last licensing period and you are applying for the lower spayed/neutered license fee.
  • If requesting the discounted fee for a puppy that is 12 months of age or less, please include the pet’s date of birth or age.
Your paperwork will not be returned to you, so please only send copies and retain the originals for your records.

All licenses expire December 31. Rabies vaccinations must be valid through October 1st for a license to be issued.

The cost for licensing unaltered or fertile pets is higher than for licensing spayed or neutered pets in order to promote sterilization and to reduce pet overpopulation.

Fees are as follows:
  • $6.00 for altered animals and proof of altering must be provided at time of purchase as well as current rabies vaccination for calendar year
  • $30.00 for un-altered animals and proof of rabies vaccination for calendar year
  • $8.00 additional charge after March 31 of each calendar year

YAVAPAI COUNTY:

The Arizona State Statute 11-1008 Doc license requirements for the unincorporated areas of Yavapai County are: “Dogs 4 months of age and older must be vaccinated for the rabies virus by a DVM and wear a current Yavapai County dog License. (Dog licenses are available annually.)”

County dog licenses may be purchased at Humane Societies and Sheriff’s offices with documentation of current rabies vaccination and of spay or neuter status. Learn more on the Yavapai County Website

Fees are as follows:
  • -$5.00 for altered animals and proof of altering must be provided at time of purchase as well as current rabies vaccination for calendar year
  • -$25.00 for un-altered animals and proof of rabies vaccination for calendar year
  • -$5.00 additional charge after March 31 of each calendar year
  • -$5.00 replacement fee for loss of current dog license

THE TOWN OF CHINO VALLEY:

Please see your town hall for tags and licensing requirements. You will receive a rabies certificate at the time of your dog’s vaccination to assist with obtaining the license.

THE TOWN OF PRESCOTT VALLEY:

Please see your town hall for tags and licensing requirements. You will receive a rabies certificate at the time of your dog’s vaccination to assist with obtaining the license.

Parasite Prevention

Do all puppies have worms?Intestinal parasites are very common in puppies. Puppies can become infected with parasites before they are born or later through their mother's milk. The microscopic examination of a stool sample will usually help us to determine the presence of intestinal parasites. We recommend this exam for all puppies. Even if we do not get a stool sample, we recommend the use of a deworming product that is safe and effective against several of the common worms of the dog. We do this because our deworming medication has minimal side-effects and because your puppy does not pass worm eggs every day so the stool sample may not detect worms that are present. Additionally, some of these internal parasites can be transmitted to humans. Deworming is done now and repeated in about three weeks. It is important that it be repeated because the deworming medication only kills the adult worms. Within three to four weeks, the larval stages will become adults and need to be treated. Dogs remain susceptible to re-infection with hookworms and roundworms. Periodic deworming throughout the dog's life may be recommended for outdoor dogs. Heartgard preventative given once monthly prevents hookworms and roundworms.

Tapeworms are one of the most common intestinal parasite of dogs. Puppies become infected with them when they swallow fleas; the eggs of the tapeworm live inside the flea. When the dog chews or licks its skin as a flea bites, the flea may be swallowed. The flea is digested within the dog's intestine; the tapeworm hatches and then anchors itself to the intestinal lining. Therefore, exposure to fleas may result in a new infection. Tapeworm infections can occur in as little as two weeks.

Dogs infected with tapeworms will pass small segments of the worms in their stool. The segments are white in color and look like grains of rice. They are about 1/8 inch (3 mm) long and may be seen crawling on the surface of the stool. They may also stick to the hair under the tail. If that occurs, they will dry out, shrink to about half their size, and become golden in color.

Tapeworm segments do not pass every day or in every stool sample; therefore, inspection of several consecutive bowel movements may be needed to find them. We may examine a stool sample in our office and not find them, and then you may find them the next day. If you find them at any time, please notify us so we may provide the appropriate drug for treatment.

How important are heartworms?
Heartworms are important parasites, especially in certain climates. They live in the dog’s bloodstream and cause major damage to the heart and lungs. Heartworms are transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes. Fortunately, we have drugs that will protect your dog from heartworms. These drugs are very safe and effective if given regularly. We can help you choose the best product for your pet’s needs and lifestyle.

Heartworm preventatives are dosed according to your dog's weight. As the weight increases, the dosage should also increase. Please note the dosing instructions on the package.

Fecal Analysis Guidelines

It's very important to bring your pet's fecal sample (bowel movement) to Prescott Animal Hospital for analysis as an initial check for worms (at your puppy or kitten’s first or second visit). Prescott Animal Hospital encourages preventative medicine and offers the first fecal analysis at no charge.

How do I bring you a sample?
Collect fresh fecal sample within 12 hours of an examination. It is also very important to keep the samples cool or refrigerated. Place the sample in the container provided or a plastic bag or container will do.

What do you do with the sample?
A microscopic examination of the fecal sample will be performed to identify if your pet has worms or worm's eggs (ova sites and parasites) present. If your pet has diarrhea your veterinarian may choose to run additional tests.

What if my pet does have worms?
If your pet does have parasites treatment will begin once the specific parasites are identified. It's important to realize that different parasites will require different medications. Upon completion of treatment a recheck or follow-up fecal will be requested to verify treatment was successful.

Why does my pet need a fecal analysis every year?
An annual fecal check is recommended as good preventive medicine. Pets do not always show signs of internal parasites and can be asymptomatic (not showing signs). Some parasites can infect people most commonly children, elderly and those with weak immune systems.

Feeding Your Puppy

There are a lot of choices of dog food. Which one do I choose?
Diet is extremely important during the growing months of dog's life. We recommend a veterinary recommended name-brand food made by a national dog food company (not a generic or local brand name) and a diet made for puppies. This should be fed to your puppy from eight to eighteen months of age, depending on its breed and size. We recommend that you only buy food that has been certified by an independent organization as complete and balanced. In the United States, you should look for food that has been certified by AAFCO, an independent organization that oversees the entire pet food industry. It does not endorse any particular food, but it will certify that the food has met minimum requirements for nutrition.

Table foods are not recommended. Because they are generally very tasty, dogs will often begin to hold out for these and not eat their well-balanced dog food.

We enjoy a variety of things to eat in our diet. However, most dogs actually prefer not to change from one food to another unless they are trained to do so by the way you feed them. Do not feel guilty if your dog is happy eating the same food day after day, week after week.

Commercials for dog food can be very misleading. If you watch carefully you will notice that commercials often promote dog food on the basis of taste. Nutrition is rarely recommended. Most of the "gourmet" foods are marketed to appeal to owners who want the best for their dogs; however, they do not offer the dog any nutritional advantage over a good quality dry food, and they are far more expensive. If you read the labels of many of the gourmet foods, you will notice that they do not claim to be "complete and balanced". If your dog eats a gourmet food very long, it will probably not be happy with the other foods. If your dog needs a special diet due to health problems later in life, it is very unlikely to accept it.

How often should I feed my puppy?
There are several "right" ways to feed puppies. The most popular method is commonly called "meal feeding". This means that a puppy is fed at specific times of the day. A measured amount of food should be offered three times per day for five to twelve week old puppies. What is not eaten in 30 minutes is taken up. If the food is eaten within three to four minutes, the quantity is probably not sufficient. Puppies fed in this manor generally begin to cut back on one of those meals by three to four months of age and perhaps another one later. If a certain feeding is ignored for several days, it should be discontinued.

"Free choice feeding" means that food is available at all times. This works well with dry foods and for some dogs. However, most dogs tend to overeat and become obese.

Behavior & Discipline

What type of behavior should I expect from a healthy puppy? 
It is very important that you provide stimulating play for your puppy, especially during the first few weeks in its new home. Stalking and punching are important play behaviors in puppies and are necessary for proper muscle development. Your puppy will be less likely to use family members for these activities if you provide adequate puppy-safe toys. The best toys are lightweight and movable. Any toy that is small enough to be swallowed should be avoided.

How do I discipline a puppy? 
Disciplining a young puppy may be necessary if its behavior threatens people or property, but harsh punishment should be avoided. Hand clapping and using shaker cans or horns can be intimidating enough to inhibit undesirable behavior. However, remote punishment is preferred. Remote punishment consists of using something that appears unconnected to the punisher to stop the problem behavior. Examples include using spray bottles, throwing object in the direction of the puppy to startle (but not hit) it, and making loud noises. Remote punishment is preferred because the puppy associated punishment with the undesirable act and not with you.

How do I housebreak my new puppy?
Housebreaking should begin as soon as your puppy enters his new home. How long the training must continue depends on both the puppy and you. Some pups learn sooner than others. Your dog wants to please you. But a puppy's memory is short, so your patience is important. A home with a poorly trained puppy is not a happy home for you or the puppy.

The puppy's bed may be a box, open at one end and slightly larger than the puppy. If the bed is too large, the puppy may defecate or urinate in a corner rather than go outside. If the bed is smaller, the puppy will do its "business" outside rather than soil its bed.

Enclose the bed in a small area, such as a laundry room. Cover this area with newspapers to be used at night, or when your pup is left unsupervised.

A common housebreaking technique is creating a “scent post”. A scent post is created when your puppy has an "accident." The problem becomes one of locating the scent post in the place you want it.

To create a scent post, leave a smear of stool from the last "accident" or wet paper on the clean paper in the place you want it, and coax or scoot the puppy to that area. The same is true of an outside scent post, but without the paper, in an out-of-the-way place in the yard. This will solve the "mine-field" problem.

The first thing in the morning, the puppy should be scooted to the scent post. This is so he can learn his way to the door and the scent post. Let him sniff about. The moment he has relieved himself, pat him on the head and immediately bring him into the house. Do not let him play about. The toilet period and play period should be definitely separate in the puppy's routine.

The puppy should then be fed. In a short while the puppy will become uneasy and walk in circles sniffing at the floor. The puppy should then be scooted and coaxed to the scent post as quickly as possible.

This routine should be repeated every hour or two throughout the day, especially after meals and naps.

When the puppy is taken out to play, it is wise to leave the house by another door and avoid taking him near his scent post. Never play with your pup until after he has been taken out and has eliminated.

There will of course be some "accidents" in the house. Never let one of these slip by unnoticed; punishment five minutes after the offense is too late. Scold (not whip) the puppy and rush him to the scent post. Then scrub the area of mishap thoroughly until all odor is gone. Your veterinarian will recommend cleaning products that will help neutralize any scent from urination or defecation.

Positive reinforcement of proper urine and bowel habits is just as important as properly applied discipline. When your puppy urinates or defecates in the correct place, spend several minutes stroking and praising him.

How do I insure that my puppy is well socialized?
The socialization period for dogs is between four and sixteen weeks of age. During that time, the puppy is very impressionable to social influences. If it has good experiences with men, women, children, cats, other dogs, etc., it is likely to accept them throughout life. If the experiences are absent or unpleasant, it may become apprehensive or adverse to any of them. Therefore, during the period of socialization, we encourage you to expose your dog to as many types of social events and influences as possible.

My puppy seems to be constantly chewing. Why does this occur?
Chewing is a normal puppy behavior. Almost all of a puppy’s 28 baby teeth are present by about four weeks of age. They begin to fall out at four months of age and are replaced by the 42 adult (permanent) teeth by about six months of age. Therefore, chewing is a puppy characteristic that you can expect until about six to seven months of age. It is important that you do what you can to direct your puppy’s chewing toward acceptable objects. You should provide puppy-safe items such as soft chew toys so other objects are spared.

Crate Training — A Safe Haven For Your Dog

Why might my dog need to be confined?
Dogs are highly social animals that make wonderful pets. They can be effective as watchdogs, are excellent companions for play and exercise, and are sources of affection and comfort. However, with the lifestyle and schedule of the majority of families, dogs must learn to spend a portion of the day at home, while their human family is away at school, work, shopping or engaging in recreational activities. During those times when you are away and unavailable to supervise, the pet may still feel the need to chew, play, explore, eat, or eliminate. These behaviors can be very distressing and damaging to the home. Confining your dog to a play area with its toys is akin to putting a young child in its playpen; while teaching your dog to relax and sleep in its crate or bed would be similar to putting your baby in its crib when its time for bedtime or a nap.

How can this misbehavior be prevented?
Preventing inappropriate behaviors when you are absent involves both scheduling and prevention. Scheduling means insuring that the pet has had the opportunity to play, eat, and eliminate before you leave it in its confinement area or crate. By maintaining a regular daily routine and timing your departures (or other daily commitments) at a time when your dog would normally be napping or playing with its own toys, there should be minimal resistance to confinement. Prevention involves keeping the pet in a confined area where it is secure, safe, and can do no damage to itself or your possessions.

What are my options for confinement?
Depending on the structure of your home, it may be possible to confine your dog to a limited portion of your home, by closing a few doors, or putting up some child gates or barricades. The dog can then be allowed access to the remaining areas of the house. Another option is to use avoidance devices that keep the pet away from selected areas (see our handout on ‘Behavior management products’). If dog-proofing is not possible when you have to leave your dog unsupervised, you might need to confine your dog to a single room, pen, or crate. This smaller confinement area not only provides safety for the dog and protection of the home from damage, but also provides a means of teaching the dog what it is supposed to chew, and where it is supposed to eliminate i.e. setting up for success rather than attempting to punish what might be undesirable, but normal play, exploration, scavenging or elimination.

Isn’t crate training cruel?
Crate training is neither cruel nor unfair. On the contrary, leaving the dog unsupervised to wander, investigate, destroy, and perhaps injure itself is far more inhumane than confinement. Insure that the crate is large enough for your dog to stand, turn and play with its toys. Proper timing and scheduling can help your dog to adapt. Be certain that your dog has had sufficient play, exercise, attention, and an opportunity to eliminate before confinement, and that you return before the dog next needs to eliminate. Ideally the pet should be placed in its crate at times of the day when it is due for a nap, or when it normally amuses itself by playing with its own toys. Although confinement should be used when you cannot supervise your dog, when you are at home you must try to keep the pet with you (except during the pet’s nap times), as this is the only way to train and reinforce desirable behavior and direct the pet away from undesirable behavior. Be sure not to require your pet to be confined longer than wait to eliminate.

What are the benefits of crate training?
Confinement training has many benefits. It keeps your pet safe and prevents damage to household possessions. The crate also provides a place of security; a comfortable retreat where the dog can relax, sleep, or chew on a favorite toy. Confining the pet to a crate or room, when the owner is not available to supervise can immediately prevent behavior problems. If the puppy is crated when it is napping or playing with its own toys, the risk for over-attachment and separation anxiety might be reduced. While in the crate the puppy learns to spend time away from the owners napping or engaging in play behavior When you are at home, supervision and rewards can be used to prevent undesirable behavior, and to teach the dog where to eliminate, what to chew, and what rooms and areas are “out of bounds.”

Will cage confinement help with house-training?
Crate training is one of the quickest and most effective ways to house-train a dog. Since most dogs instinctively avoid eliminating in their sleeping and eating areas, dogs that use their crate as a bed or “den” will seldom eliminate inside unless they have been left in the crate for too long or they are excessively anxious when confined. Crate training can also help teach the dog to develop control over its elimination. As soon as your dog is released from its crate, take it to the designated area and reward elimination at acceptable locations. Since the crate prevents chewing, digging, and elimination on the owner’s home and property, owners of crate trained puppies have fewer behavior concerns, the puppy receives far less discipline and punishment, and the overall relationship between pet and owner can be dramatically improved.

Will the crate provoke barking?
The crate can also be a useful way to reduce or eliminate distress barking. Rather than locking the puppy up and away from the owners at nighttime or during mealtime, the puppy can be housed in its crate in the bedroom or kitchen. In this way the puppy cannot get into mischief, and is less likely to cry out or vocalize, with the owners in the room. Of course if the puppy is not napping and you are available to supervise your puppy should be out and about with you watching closely to insure that it comes to no harm and does not get into mischief. Distress vocalization is far more likely for owners that lock their puppy out of harms way in a laundry or basement with no access to them. When and if the owner then goes to the puppy to quiet it down or check it out, the crying behavior is rewarded.

Are there other benefits to caging?
Throughout its life, whether traveling or boarding, your dog may require crate confinement for varying periods of time. Dogs that are comfortable with crating are more likely to feel secure, and far less stressed, should caging be required. By bringing along the dog’s bedding or its own crate for boarding or veterinary visits, the pet may feel even more settled and relaxed.

PUPPY CRATE TRAINING
What type of crate or confinement area works best?

A metal, collapsible crate with a tray floor works well, as long as the crate is large enough for the dog to stand, turn, and stretch out. Some dogs feel more secure if a blanket is draped over the crate. A plastic traveling crate or a homemade crate can also be used. Playpens or barricades may also be successful as long as they are indestructible and escape proof.

Where should the cage be located?
Because dogs are social animals, an ideal location for the crate is a room where the family spends time such as a kitchen, den, or in a bedroom where the dog might sleep at night.

How can crating or confinement become a positive experience?
Most dogs quickly choose a small area, such as a corner of a room, in a dog bed, or on or under a couch, where they go to relax. If your puppy has just recently been adopted from the breeder, kennel or pet store, crate training should be relatively easy, since your puppy is likely already accustomed to sleeping in a pen or crate. The key to making the crate the dog’s favorite retreat and sleeping area, is to associate the crate with as many positive and relaxing experiences and stimuli as possible (treats, chew toys, bedding) and to place the dog in its cage when playing with new toys, during scheduled rest and sleep periods or even as a feeding area. You must therefore plan and be aware of the dog’s schedule, including its needs for exploration, play, food, and elimination, so that the dog is only placed in its cage, when each of these needs is fulfilled. You must then return to the dog to release it from its cage before the next exercise, feeding or elimination period is due. A radio or television playing in the background may help to calm the dog when it is alone in its cage, especially during the daytime. These may also help to mask environmental noises that can stimulate the dog to vocalize. The crate should not be used for punishment.

How do I crate-train my new puppy?
Introduce the puppy to the crate as soon as it is brought home and as early in the day as possible. Place a variety of treats in the cage throughout the day so that the puppy is encouraged to enter voluntarily. Bedding, toys and water can also be offered to the puppy in the open cage. Food might also be placed in the pen or crate if you wish to also designate it as a feeding area.

Choose a location outdoors for the puppy to eliminate. Take the puppy to the location, wait until the puppy eliminates, and reward the puppy lavishly with praise or food. After some additional play and exercise, and when you feel its time for your puppy to take a nap (or when you see your puppy begin to settle down for nap), place the puppy in its crate with water, a toy and a treat and close the door.

If the puppy is tired and calm, it may take a “nap” shortly after being placed in its crate. If not, be certain to provide a few novel and stimulating toys or chews for play. In this way the crate serves one of two functions – as your puppy’s bed (crib) or your puppy’s play area (playpen).

Leave the room but remain close enough to hear the puppy. Escape behavior and vocalization are to be expected when a dog is first placed into its crate. If the “complaints” are short or mild, ignore your puppy until the crying stops. Never release the puppy unless it is quiet. This teaches that quiet behavior, and not crying will be rewarded. Release the puppy after a few minutes of quiet or a short nap.

A brief disruption may be useful to deter crying if it does not subside on its own. A shaker can (a sealed can filled with coins or marbles) can be tossed at the crate when the pup barks. Other methods include water sprayers or alarms (audible or ultrasonic). The owner should remain out of sight. By plugging in an alarm, tape recorder, or hair dryer beside the crate and turning it on with a remote control switch each time the dog barks, the dog can be taught that barking has unpleasant consequences whether the owner is present or not. When the barking ceases, the disruption is stopped. Bark collars and alarms that are activated by the barking are also available for persistent problems. These techniques must be used with caution, since it can exacerbate the vocalization problem of a very anxious pet.

Repeat the cage and release procedure a few more times during the day at each naptime and each time your puppy is given a toy or chew with which to play. Each time, increase the time that the dog must stay in the crate before letting it out. Always give the puppy exercise and a chance to eliminate before securing it in the crate.

At bedtime, the dog should be exercised, secured in its crate, and left for the night. Do not go to the dog if it cries. Remote punishment can be used to deter crying. The crate might remain in the same place as it has been during the day, or might be moved (or a second crate used) to the bedroom.

If the pup sleeps in one end of its crate and eliminates in the other, a divider can be installed to keep the puppy in a smaller area providing the puppy is not required to spend more time in the crate than it is capable of holding it’s urine or stool If the puppy must eliminate, it does not matter how small the area is; the puppy will have to eliminate.

Never leave the puppy in its crate for longer than it can control itself or it may be forced to eliminate in the crate.

If the pup must be left for long periods during which it might eliminate, it should be confined to a larger area such as a dog-proof room or pen, with paper left down for elimination. As the puppy gets older, its control increases and it can be left longer in its crate.

Although there is a great deal of individual variability, many puppies can control themselves through the night by 3 months of age. During the daytime, once the puppy has relieved itself, a 2-month old puppy may have up to 3 hours control, a 3-month puppy up to 4 hours, and a 4 month old puppy up to 5 hours.

A crate is not an excuse to ignore the dog!

CRATE TRAINING ADULT DOGS
What is the best technique for crate training older pets and adult dogs?
For adult dogs or older puppies that have not been crate trained previously, set up the crate in the dog's feeding area with the door open for a few days. Place food, treats, and water in the crate so that the dog enters the crate on its own. Another alternative is to place the crate (or a second crate) in the dog's sleeping area with its bedding. Once the dog is entering the crate freely, it is time to close the door for very short periods of time. Some dogs might do better if a pen, or confinement area with barricade (child gate).

Using the same training techniques as for ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ training, have the dog enter its crate for short periods of time to obtain food, treats, or chew toys. Once the pet expects treats each time it enters the crate, train the dog to enter the crate on command (e.g. kennel!), and have the dog remain in the kennel for progressively longer periods of time, before the dog is allowed to exit. Give small rewards each time the dog enters the cage at first, and give the dog a favored chew toy or some food to help make the stay more enjoyable. At first, the door can remain open during these training sessions.

When the dog is capable of staying comfortably and quietly in the crate begin to lock the dog in the crate at nighttime. Once the dog sleeps in the crate through the night, try leaving the pet in the crate during the daytime. Try short departures first, and gradually make them longer.

Is crate training practical for all dogs?
An occasional dog may not tolerate crate training, and may continue to show anxiety, or even eliminate when confined. These dogs may adapt better to other types of confinement such as a pen, dog run, small room, or barricaded area. Of course, if the dog is being left alone for longer than it can control (hold in) its elimination, it will be necessary to provide an area much larger than a cage, so that the pet has a location on which to eliminate, away from its food and bedding.

Continued anxiety, destruction or vocalization when placed in the crate may indicate separation anxiety. The intervention of a behaviorist may be needed.

Kitten Care

Caring for your kitten

Congratulations on welcoming a new kitten into your family. Owning a cat can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Below you will find information about caring for your kitten.

If you have any questions please give us a call at 928.445.2190.

The Kitten Plan

For the first couple months in life, kittens are protected from disease by antibodies they received through their mother’s milk. Over time, this protection fades and they need vaccines in order to continue being protected.

Vaccines stimulate the kitten’s own immune system to recognize and fend off certain diseases, but it takes multiple vaccines, or “boosters”, to get them fully protected. In general, kittens need three vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart with the last vaccine given no younger than 16 weeks.

Overview of the vaccine series: 
Purevax FeLV is recommended annually if cat is considered “at risk”. The leukemia vaccine is considered “non-core” by PAH.

Juvenile:
6-9 weeks – FVRCP #1
9-12 weeks – FVRCP #2, Purevax FeLV #1
12-16 weeks – FVRCP #3, Purevax FeLV #2, Purevax Rabies

Adult:
1 Year of Age: FVRCP booster
FVRCP every 3 years & Purevax Rabies annually

Senior:
FVRCP every 3 years & Purevax Rabies annually

Some kittens are younger than 8 weeks when they receive their first vaccine, and may require four vaccine visits rather than three. If this is the case, your veterinarian will adjust the vaccine schedule to fit your kitten’s specific situation and explain any changes to you during your appointment.

*FPRC- Vaccine to protect against Feline Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus
**FeLV- Vaccine to protect against Feline Leukemia

Parasite Prevention

Do all kittens have worms?
Intestinal parasites are common in kittens. Kittens can become infected with parasites almost as soon as they are born, since one of the most common sources of roundworm infection in kittens is the mother's milk.

A microscopic examination of a stool sample will usually detect the presence of intestinal parasites. This test, which detects the presence of worm eggs, should be performed on a stool sample from every kitten. Many veterinarians will routinely treat kittens with a broad spectrum deworming product that is safe and effective against almost all of the common worms of the cat. These products must be repeated once or twice during a three to four weeks because they only kill adult worms. Most intestinal worms take three to four weeks for maturation from their larval stages into adults. Cats remain susceptible to reinfection with hookworms and roundworms. Periodic deworming throughout the cat's life is recommended for cats that go outdoors.

Tapeworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites of cats. Kittens usually become infected with tapeworms when they swallow fleas. The eggs of the tapeworm live inside the flea. When the cat chews or licks its skin as a flea bites, it often swallows the flea. The flea is digested within the cat's intestine. The tapeworm then hatches and anchors itself to the intestinal lining. Each exposure to fleas may result in a new infection, which can occur in as little as two weeks. Cats may also get a tapeworm infection by eating mice or birds; the life cycle of these tapeworm species are similar to that of the flea tapeworm.

Cats infected with tapeworms will pass small segments of the worms on their stool. The segments are white in color and look like grains of rice. They are about 1/8 inch (3 mm) long and may be seen crawling on the surface of the stool. They may also stick to the hair under the tail. If that occurs, they will dry out, shrink to about half their size, and become pale yellow in color.

Tapeworm segments do not pass every day or in every stool sample; therefore, inspection of several consecutive bowel movements may be needed to find them. We may examine a stool sample in our office and not find them, and then you may find them the next day. If you find them at any time, please notify us so we may provide the appropriate drug for treatment. Ideally, you should bring in the worm segments so that we can identify them.

Fecal Analysis Guidelines

It's very important to bring your pet's fecal sample (bowel movement) to Prescott Animal Hospital for analysis as an initial check for worms (at your puppy or kitten’s first or second visit). Prescott Animal Hospital encourages preventative medicine and offers the first fecal analysis at no charge.

How do I bring you a sample?
Collect fresh fecal sample within 12 hours of an examination. It is also very important to keep the samples cool or refrigerated. Place the sample in the container provided or a plastic bag or container will do.

What do you do with the sample?
A microscopic examination of the fecal sample will be performed to identify if your pet has worms or worm's eggs (ova sites and parasites) present. If your pet has diarrhea your veterinarian may choose to run additional tests.

What if my pet does have worms?
If your pet does have parasites treatment will begin once the specific parasites are identified. It's important to realize that different parasites will require different medications. Upon completion of treatment a recheck or follow-up fecal will be requested to verify treatment was successful.

Why does my pet need a fecal analysis every year?
An annual fecal check is recommended as good preventive medicine. Pets do not always show signs of internal parasites and can be asymptomatic (not showing signs). Some parasites can infect people most commonly children, elderly and those with weak immune systems.

Feeding Your Kitten

There are lots of choices of cat foods. What should I feed my kitten?
Diet is extremely important for growth, and there are two important criteria that should be met in selecting food for your kitten. We recommend a NAME-BRAND FOOD made by a national cat food company (not a generic brand), and a form of food MADE FOR KITTENS. This should be fed until your kitten is about twelve months of age. We recommend that you only buy food that has been certified by an independent organization as complete and balanced. In the United States, you should look for food that has been certified by AAFCO, an independent organization that oversees the entire pet food industry. It does not endorse any particular food, but it will certify that the food has met the minimum requirements for nutrition. In Canada, look for foods approved by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

Cat foods are available in dry, canned, and semi-moist formulations. Any of these formulations is acceptable, as long as the label states that the food is intended for growth (or is a kitten food), and is “complete and balanced”. This means that the food is nutritionally complete to meet the needs of growth and development. Each of the types of food has advantages and disadvantages.

Dry food is definitely the most inexpensive and can be left in the cat's bowl at all times. If given the choice, the average cat will eat a mouthful of food about 12-20 times per day. The good brands of dry food are just as nutritious as the other forms and better for oral hygiene.

Semi-moist foods may be acceptable, depending on their quality. The texture may be more appealing to some cats, and they often have a stronger odor and flavor. However, semi-moist foods are usually high in sugar, and if they are fed exclusively, can cause the cat to develop a very finicky appetite.

Canned foods are a good choice to feed your kitten, but are considerably more expensive than either of the other forms of food. Canned foods contain a high percentage of water, and their texture, odor and taste are very appealing to most cats. However, canned food will dry out or spoil if left out for prolonged periods of time; it is more suitable for meal feeding rather than free choice feeding.

Commercials for cat food can be very misleading. If you watch carefully you will notice that commercials promote cat food on one basis: TASTE. Nutrition is rarely mentioned. Most of the "gourmet" foods are marketed to appeal to owners who want the best for their cats; however, they do not offer the cat any nutritional advantage over a good quality dry food, and they are far more expensive. If you read the label of many of the gourmet foods, you will notice that they do not claim to be “complete and balanced”. If your cat eats a gourmet food very long, it will probably not be happy with other foods, and may develop nutritional deficiencies. If it needs a special diet due to a health problem later in life, it is very unlikely to accept it. Therefore, we do not encourage feeding gourmet cat foods.

We will provide you with specific diet recommendations that will help your kitten develop into a healthy adult cat.

Behavior & Discipline

How should I introduce my kitten to its new environment? 
A cat is naturally inclined to investigate its new surroundings. It is suggested that the kitten’s area of exploration be initially limited so that you can supervise its activities. After confining the cat to one room for the first few days, you should slowly allow access to other areas of the home.

How should I introduce my new kitten to my other cat?
Most kittens receive a hostile reception from other household pets, especially from another cat. The other cat usually sees no need for a kitten in the household and these feelings are reinforced if it perceives that special favoritism is being shown to the kitten. The existing cat must not feel that it is necessary to compete for food or attention. The new kitten should have its own food bowl and it should not be permitted to eat from the other cat’s bowl. Although it is natural to spend time holding and cuddling the kitten, the existing cat will quickly sense that it is being neglected. The new kitten needs lots of love and attention, but the existing cat should not be slighted. In fact, the transition will be smoother if the existing cat is given more attention than normal.

The introduction period will usually last one to two weeks and will have one of three possible outcomes:
The existing cat will remain hostile to the kitten. Fighting may occasionally occur, especially if both try to eat out of the same bowl at the same time. This is an unlikely occurrence if competition for food and affection are minimized during the first few weeks.

The existing cat will only tolerate the kitten. Hostility will cease, but the existing cat will act as if the kitten is not present. This is more likely if the existing cat is very independent, has been an only cat for several years, or if marked competition occurred during the first few weeks. This relationship is likely to be permanent.

Bonding will occur between the existing cat and the kitten. They will play together, groom each other, and sleep near each other. This is more likely to occur if competition is minimized and if the existing cat has been lonely for companionship.

What type of play behavior should I expect from a kitten?
Encouraging appropriate play activities is very important from the first day in your home. Stalking and pouncing are important play behaviors in kittens and have an important role in proper muscular development. If given a sufficient outlet for these behaviors with toys, your kitten will be less likely to use family members for these activities. The best toys are lightweight and movable. These include wads of paper, small balls, and string or ribbon. Kittens should always be supervised when playing with string or ribbons because these items can cause serious intestinal problems if they are swallowed. Any other toy that is small enough to be swallowed should also be avoided.

Can I discipline a kitten?
Disciplining a young kitten may be necessary if its behavior towards people or property is inappropriate, but harsh punishment should be avoided. For most kittens, hand clapping and using shaker cans or horns can be intimidating enough to inhibit undesirable behavior when you are present. However, remote punishment is preferred. Remote punishment consists of using something that appears unconnected to the punisher to stop the problem behavior. Examples include using spray bottles, throwing objects in the direction of the kitten to startle, but not hit, and using booby traps that make loud noises. Remote punishment is preferred because the kitten will then associate punishment with the undesirable act and not with you.

How do I insure that my kitten is well socialized?
The prime socialization period for cats occurs between two and twelve weeks of age. During that time, the kitten is very impressionable to social influences. If it has good experiences with men, women, children, dogs, other cats, etc., it is likely to accept them throughout life. If the experiences are absent or unpleasant, it may become apprehensive or adverse to any of them. Therefore, during the period of socialization, we encourage you to expose your cat to as many types of social situations and influences as possible.

Boarding

Canine and Feline Boarding

When planning family vacations or even trips for work, it is important to consider who will be caring for your pets when you are away.

Here at Prescott Animal Hospital we offer veterinary supervised boarding.

Why Choose Us?

  • The boarding facility is located in our award winning veterinary practice that is held to over 900 standards of care.
  • Skilled animal care attendants cater to your pet’s medical needs.
  • Reduced stress environment!
  • Basic grooming services available.
  • We require flea & tick preventative; know your pet is safe with us!
  • We are open 7 days a week.

Boarding Checklist

  • Call and make a boarding reservation. When making your pet’s boarding reservation, please allow time on your schedule for check-in and check-out (approx. 20 minutes).
  • Apply flea/tick prevention monthly. Please read below for our Flea and Tick policy.
  • Proof of current vaccinations. Vaccinations should be administered at least 10 days prior to boarding to ensure your pet, and our other pet guests, are protected against disease.
  • Bring all medications, in their original container, labeled with your pet’s name, the medication name and dosage and prescribed directions.
  • If your pet visits any other vet offices, please bring records of those visits, including any history of seizures, allergies, or other important information.
  • Please make sure you bring emergency contact information.
  • Please do not bring your pets bed, blankets, toys, or food dishes. We will make sure your pet is comfy and has lots of love during his or her stay with us.

Boarding Policy

During admission to Prescott Animal Hospital boarding, our Animal Care Attendants will discuss your pet's individual needs during his or her stay. You will be presented with a form which outlines specific needs of your pet and also acts as a medical release in the event medical treatments should become necessary during your pet's stay, such as illness or injury. Please allow additional time to review this paperwork during your pet's check-in appointment.

Vaccinations

It is our policy that documented veterinarian administered vaccines are given 10 days prior to admission for all of our pet guests that are checking-in for boarding and grooming services.

For Cats, we require Feline Distemper (FVRCP) and Rabies vaccine per the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) guidelines.

For Dogs we require Distemper/Parvovirus (DAPP), Bordetella (kennel cough, required every 6 months) and Rabies Vaccination, per the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines.

Prescott Animal Hospital reserves the right to refuse un-vaccinated animals to our boarding facility due to the risk of disease transfer to our other pet guests and our staff.

Flea and tick preventative

Also for your pet's protection, Prescott Animal Hospital requires a current flea and tick treatment for all of our pet guests, such as Frontline Gold and Bravecto. We also recommend year-round internal parasite prevention using a preventative such as Interceptor Plus. This will protect your pet against intestinal parasites and Heartworm all year long.

If during your pet's stay, he or she is found to have fleas, ticks or parasites, a treatment will be administered at your expense. If you have questions about preventatives prior to your pet's stay, visit our blog post, The Unseen Enemy.

Administering medications

Any medications, nursing care or special exercise requests will incur additional fees. Please make sure that prescribed medications are in a container and that instructions are clearly noted on the prescription label. Please do not mix medications in with your pet's food.

Daily exercise, diet and bedding

All of our canine pet guests will be walked four times a day unless requested otherwise by you.

Our pets often do best on the food they eat at home. However, Royal Canin Canine Digestive Low Fat or Royal Canin Feline Intestinal High Energy dry will be provided by Prescott Animal Hospital. Any requested diet other than these must be supplied by the owner. Your pet will be fed per your instructions.

Clean bedding will be provided daily with Prescott Animal Hospital. We ask that collars, leashes and carriers be taken home with you after check-in. Our Pet Care Attendants are able to provide anything your pet may need during his or her stay with us.

Stress reduction

To reduce stress and anxiety during your pet's visit, we play soothing music designed to reduce pet anxiety. We also diffuse stress-reducing pheromones into the environment which helps to calm your pet. If you have further questions regarding our efforts to reduce stress for our patients and pet guests, feel free to ask one of our team members.

Additional services

If your pet needs an examination with a  veterinarian, we encourage you to schedule an appointment independently from boarding so that the veterinarian may address concerns and discuss treatment options with you in person.

There will be a fee for any exam, vaccinations or other services required. All pertinent medical treatment and findings will be documented in your pet's medical records and discussed with you upon discharge from Prescott Animal Hospital. Please make sure to update your contact information during check-in so we can reach you for any reason.

As a courtesy, all canine pet guests staying with us for longer than 4 days will be given a bath 24 hours prior to the scheduled pick up time. If you prefer that your pet is not bathed, please let us know during your check-in visit.

We reserve the right to refuse boarding to difficult or aggressive animals.

Please inform our office if you should change your anticipated arrival and release dates.

Boarding Drop Off Consent Form

If your pet is going to be boarding with us please take a moment to fill out our boarding drop off consent form.

Dental Care

Pet Dental Care

Periodontal disease (dental disease) is the destruction of bone, gum tissue and structures that hold the teeth in place. This disease is caused by bacterial infection that spreads underneath the gum line. Significant damage is already done by the time there are obvious signs of periodontal disease, such as bad breath, painful and loose teeth. Dogs and cats in the advanced stages of periodontal disease often require oral surgery to extract many teeth. This disease can also affect the overall health of your pet, including heart, liver and kidneys.

People understand the importance of dental care and routinely have their teeth cleaned. With our pets, dental care is a less common practice. Studies by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveal that nearly two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by veterinarians.

Prescott Animal Hospital is striving to educate our community on the importance of pet dental care.

Signs of Pet Dental Disease

  • Bad breath
    It is a common misconception for bad breath to be chalked up to just “dog breath.” Bad breath is a sign of infection and disease. Periodontal disease hides under the gum line and is not visible until severe damage has occurred. This disease can also affect the overall health of your pet, including heart, liver and kidneys. If your pet has bad breath, it is a sign that you should bring your pet in for an examination and dental cleaning.

    Sometimes it is possible to think our pet has bad breath, but the odor could be coming from something other than the mouth. Odors can come from the skin, ears, digestive tract and more. This is another reason why it is important for a complete examination with a veterinarian prior to a dental cleaning.
  • Discomfort or pain while chewing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Visible plaque build up on the teeth
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Loose or missing teeth
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian. Dental disease can affect the overall health of your pet and is not something that should be addressed as soon as possible.

Free Dental Radiographs

All dental cleanings will receive FREE dental radiographs!

Learn more about dental cleanings and why radiographs are important >>

Laser Therapy

Healing from within

Low-Level Laser therapy is the use of low intensity photonic energy as a treatment modality.

Why choose Laser therapy?

  • Non-invasive
  • Promotes healing
  • Helps the hurdle of cost for long term medications or treatments
  • Narrow selection of therapeutic options available
  • NSAIDS carry a risk of side effects that can lead to serious digestive disorders or liver/kidney dysfunction

Is it safe?

There are no risks for low level laser therapy. Higher class lasers use more power, but require the use of protective glasses for any person within a certain distance, including the pet while it is being performed. Higher class lasers have the risk of possible eye damage and skin burns, but low level laser is safe for everyone around, especially your pet.

How does it work?

Low-level laser uses less power than higher class lasers, but it works by photonic stimuli exciting the body’s cells, which infuses them with energy. The three primary reactions being reduction of inflammation, cell regeneration and increased blood flow.

Is your pet suffering from any of these conditions?

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • General inflammation
  • Chronic non-healing wounds
  • Muscle strains and tears
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Post surgical pain
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Disc disease/back pain
Schedule an Appointment