essential-tips-for-caring-for-senior-pets-to-celebrate-adopt-a-senior-pet-month-strip1

Essential Tips for Caring for Senior Pets to Celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we like to use the opportunity by raising awareness about the joy of caring for a senior pet in addition to providing our pet parents with some essential tips on taking good care of a senior pet.

5 Tips for Taking Excellent Care of Your Senior Pet

1. More Frequent Checkups and Health Screenings

By about age 6 or 7 dogs and cats are considered seniors, and this means they should have more frequent veterinary exams and health screenings. These exams make it possible for us to detect, diagnose, and treat age-related illnesses as soon as they develop – rather than waiting until they cause your pet painful or life-threatening symptoms.

2. Dietary Adjustments

Senior pets benefit from a diet formulated specifically for them. These formulas typically contain slightly fewer calories to help with weight management in addition to a host of additional nutrients that can help to address age-related health concerns.

3. Exercise Modifications

Senior pets still want to play and need to stay active. However, you might need to modify their physical activities. Swimming is an excellent, low-impact activity for aging pets. Additionally, for joint health, we recommend taking more frequent short walks during the day instead of a single long walk.
essential-tips-for-caring-for-senior-pets-to-celebrate-adopt-a-senior-pet-month-strip2
essential-tips-for-caring-for-senior-pets-to-celebrate-adopt-a-senior-pet-month-strip3

4. Environmental Changes

You can also help your senior pet feel more comfortable by making some changes around your home. Provide them with elevated food and water bowls to reduce pressure on their joints. Additionally, invest in an orthopedic pet bed and stairs to help your pet get up onto the sofa, bed, or into the car.

5. Stress Reduction With Mobile Veterinary Care

Visiting the veterinary clinic can be a highly stressful experience for many pets, and all of this stress is not good for your pet’s health. When senior pets require more frequent checkups, this can be even more difficult to contend with. That’s why we recommend mobile veterinary care for all pets, especially seniors. With mobile veterinary care, we bring the clinic to your doorstep, providing your pet with all the care they need in the comfort of their home.

Mobile Veterinary Care in Carlsbad, California

Signature Veterinary Services is a mobile veterinary clinic providing comprehensive care to pets living in and around Carlsbad, California. To learn more about establishing your pet’s care with our mobile veterinary clinic or to schedule an appointment for your senior pet, we welcome you to contact us today.

essential-tips-for-caring-for-senior-pets-to-celebrate-adopt-a-senior-pet-month-strip4
pet-obesity-awareness-day-nutritional-counseling-weight-managment-at-signature-veterinary-services-strip1

Pet Obesity Awareness Day: Nutritional Counseling & Weight Managment At Signature Veterinary Services

Oct. 09 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day, and what better way to celebrate than by getting your pet on a healthy diet? Here at Signature Veterinary Services, we specialize in nutritional counseling and weight management for pets, all from the comfort of your home. We know that it is important for owners to be able to provide their pets with the best possible care, and that includes making sure they are eating right and maintaining a healthy weight.

How Do I Know If My Pet Is Overweight or Obese?

If your pet is obese, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see it. According to the experts, dogs and cats are considered overweight if they are at least 10%–20% heavier than their ideal weight. So if your pet is starting to look a bit too round in the middle, or if you’re having trouble seeing their waistline, they may be considered obese. Our Doctors at Signature Veterinary Services recommend pet owners use an easy tool called Purina Body Condition System. Too much body fat can lead to chronic health problems and a shorter lifespan in your pet. The Body Condition Score uses both visual and hands-on evaluations to assess fat cover, providing a more accurate assessment of a pet’s overall health rather than just their weight.

Common Symptoms Of Pet Obesity

When an animal becomes obese, they are at risk for a variety of health problems. The most common symptoms of pet obesity are endocrinopathies, metabolic abnormalities, cardiovascular disease, functional alterations, and joint disorders.
Obese animals are also more likely to suffer from respiratory distress, high blood pressure, and various types of cancer.
If you notice your pet is overweight, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up to determine the root of the problem and start them on a weight loss program as soon as possible.

Educate Yourself As A Pet Owner To Make Sure You Are Doing Your Part For Your Pet

Unfortunately, too many pets suffer from obesity due to their owner’s poor understanding of pet nutrition. As your pet’s primary caretaker, it is important for you to understand how to properly feed them in order to prevent obesity and other health problems.
Once you have a plan, here are some tips to help you get started:
These are just a few tips to get you started on the path to better pet nutrition.
pet-obesity-awareness-day-nutritional-counseling-weight-managment-at-signature-veterinary-services-strip4

Pet Obesity & Nutritional Counseling At Signature Veterinary Services

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with our mobile clinic, contact us today! Pet obesity is a preventable disease that affects millions of dogs and cats in the United States. Just like humans, our pets need regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. Call Signature Veterinary Services to talk to one of our experts, and ask about Nutritional Counseling for your pet. Do your part to help stop obesity before it starts.
the-best-supplements-for-pets-why-healthy-nutrition-matters-strip1

The Best Supplements for Pets: Why Healthy Nutrition Matters

If you’re like most pet owners, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your furry friend lives a long and healthy life. And one of the most important things you can do is make sure they are getting the right nutrients in their diet. Signature Veterinary Services is here to discuss some of the best supplements for pets, and why they are so important!

What Nutrients Should I Include in My Pets Diet?

Protein:

One of the most important nutrients for pets is protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, and it also helps to keep the immune system strong. If your pet is not getting enough protein in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like animal-based collagen or whey protein powder.

Omega-Fatty Acids:

Another important nutrient for pets is omega-fatty acids. Omega-fatty acids help to keep the skin and coat healthy, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties. If your pet is not getting enough omega-fatty acids in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like fish oil or
krill oil.

the-best-supplements-for-pets-why-healthy-nutrition-matters-strip2

Fiber:

Yet another important nutrient for pets is fiber. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and can also help to regulate blood sugar levels. If your pet is not getting enough fiber in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like psyllium husk or chia seeds.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Finally, vitamins and minerals are also important for pets. Vitamins and minerals play a role in everything from bone health to energy levels. If your pet is not getting enough vitamins and minerals in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like multivitamins or mineral-rich kelp powder.

the-best-supplements-for-pets-why-healthy-nutrition-matters-strip3

Why Does Your Pet Needs Supplements

Just like humans, when pets don’t get the right mix of nutrients from their food they may become sick or experience other health problems. Lucky for you, there are a number of supplements available on the market that can help promote good health in your pet.

How To Find the Right Supplements For Your Pet

It is important to remember that not all supplements are created equal. We recommend doing your research to find the best quality products for your pet. Be sure to look for supplements that are made with natural ingredients and free from fillers, binders, and artificial additives. And always talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.

Your pet is unique and special, and our doctors at Signature Veterinary Services are here to help you find the right diet for your special furry friend. Call Signature Veterinary Services to schedule an appointment for Nutritional Counseling and talk to an expert on pet nutrition today!

the-best-supplements-for-pets-why-healthy-nutrition-matters-strip4
how-is-my-pets-dental-health-strip1

How Is My Pet's Dental Health?

Your pet might not need to take a bath every single day, but many pet owners don’t realize that their pets need regular dental care to keep their teeth, gums, and bodies healthy – just like we do. In fact, most dogs and cats already have some form of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the time they reach age three. Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on a pet’s general health, even leading to premature death.

Signs and Symptoms of Dental Problems in Pets

We recommend scheduling a dental exam sooner rather than later if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in your pet:
how-is-my-pets-dental-health-strip2

How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth

The best way to protect your pet from periodontal disease and the health risks associated with it is to take good care of their teeth and gums.

Pet Dental Care at Home

At home, we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily (or as frequently as possible) using toothpaste formulated for pets and a toothbrush designed for your dog or cat. Additionally, you can provide your pet with dental-friendly treats and chew toys in addition to using water additives and dental-friendly kibble.

Professional Pet Dental Care

Professional pet dental care is similar to dental care for humans. During a routine pet dentistry appointment, our veterinarian thoroughly examines your pet’s teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay or other issues. We then clean your pet’s teeth by scaling and polishing the surfaces of the teeth to remove any accumulated tartar and plaque. This deep clean also extends slightly below the gum line to help combat periodontal disease.

Mobile Pet Dentistry in Carlsbad

With Signature Veterinary Services, we bring everything your pet needs to keep their smile happy and healthy right to your doorstep. We provide comprehensive pet dentistry services and treatments. To learn more about pet dentistry and the importance of dental care for dogs and cats, we welcome you to contact us today.
how-is-my-pets-dental-health-strip4

Is My Pet Drinking Enough Water?

Hydration is essential to your pet’s body’s ability to function properly and stay alive. During the summer, when the weather is warmer, hydration becomes even more essential as pets lose moisture when they pant and sweat to cool down. To avoid dehydration, heatstroke, and serious health problems that can occur as a result, you need to help your pet stay hydrated by drinking enough water each day.

How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?

Keep in mind that these numbers fluctuate based on your pet’s activity level and the weather. With increased activity and hotter weather, pets need to drink more water.
is-my-pet-drinking-enough-water-strip2

How to Help Your Pet Stay Hydrated

is-my-pet-drinking-enough-water-strip3

1. Provide Plenty of Water

The first point might seem obvious, but it’s so important that it needs to be included. The first step to keeping your pet hydrated is making sure that they have enough drinking water to get them through the day.

2. Try a Fountain

Pets enjoy drinking fresh water and a motorized water bowl with a pump and fountain helps keep your pet’s water from going stale or getting too warm.

3. Add Flavors

If your pet still doesn’t seem to be drinking enough water during the day, you can try to entice them by adding a flavor to it. Cats, especially, love a little bit of tuna juice mixed into their water dish. If you do this, just be sure not to leave it so long that it starts to grow bacteria and stink.

4. Add Ice Cubes

Dropping a few ice cubes into your pet’s water dish not only keeps the water cooler for longer, but it can also be fun for your pet to play with the floating ice.

5. Wash Their Water Bowl

In warm weather, bacteria grow more rapidly and pet bowls need to be cleaned more frequently. If your pet’s water dish is slimy, they likely won’t want to drink out of it.

Summer Pet Care With Signature Veterinary Services

To learn more about caring for your pet in the summer or to schedule an appointment with our mobile veterinarian in Carlsbad, California, we welcome you to contact us today.
pet-prepared-for-an-emergency_strip1

Is My Pet Prepared for an Emergency?

Natural disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes are, unfortunately, a fact of life for most people. Although we can’t always know when a disaster is going to strike, we can do our best to ensure both our human and animal family members are well prepared to evacuate or shelter safely in place during a disaster.

5 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for an Emergency

1. Make an Emergency Kit

Just like you keep emergency supplies on hand for the humans in your family, you should also have an emergency kit packed and ready to go for your pet. This kit should include everything your pet needs to survive during a disaster including items like:
pet-prepared-for-an-emergency_strip2

2. Have an Evacuation Plan

You should also have an evacuation plan ready in case you need to leave. When you have pets, this isn’t always as simple as driving to the next town and getting a hotel room. Make sure the place where you plan to stay welcomes pets or be sure you have safe accommodations elsewhere for your pet.

3. Microchips, Collars, and ID Tags

Pets commonly get lost during emergencies and evacuations. It’s essential your pet has a sturdy collar and current ID tags in addition to a microchip with your current contact information logged in the national database.

4. Use the Buddy System

Make sure you have a trusted friend or family member appointed to rescue your pet in the event you can’t get home when a disaster strikes. Be sure they know where to locate your pet’s emergency kit, as well.

5. Local Veterinary Hospitals

It’s also smart to keep a list of veterinary hospitals and boarding facilities in nearby towns where you might go if evacuation orders are in place. This can save precious time if your pet requires these services during an emergency.
pet-prepared-for-an-emergency_strip3

Emergency Preparedness for Pets With Signature Veterinary Services

Signature Veterinary Services brings all the veterinary care and services your pet needs to prepare for a disaster right to your doorstep. Our mobile veterinary clinic provides vaccinations, parasite prevention, microchips, and recommendations for emergency care. To learn more or schedule an appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact our Carlsbad-based mobile veterinary clinic today.
is-my-pet-protected-from-lyme-disease_strip1

Is My Pet Protected From Lyme Disease?

Ticks can be active year-round in Southern California, but the peak tick season occurs during June and July. During these times ticks tend to be out in greater numbers and most active. To be safe, however, we recommend making sure your pets are protected from ticks (and Lyme disease) throughout the year.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an illness caused by an infection with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. It is one of the infections most commonly transmitted by ticks (specifically the blacklegged tick or deer tick species), and it’s highly common in the northeast, midwest, and all along the Pacific Coast of the United States.
Pets can become infected with Lyme disease when the bacteria responsible for it enters the bloodstream through the bite of an infected tick. This usually occurs after about 24 to 48 hours of attachment. Symptoms of Lyme disease typically don’t show up right away, either. You might notice lethargy, joint swelling, fever, appetite loss, and/or kidney problems later on.
is-my-pet-protected-from-lyme-disease_strip2
is-my-pet-protected-from-lyme-disease_strip3

How to Protect Your Pets From Lyme Disease

There is a canine vaccine for Lyme disease, but the best way to protect pets from Lyme disease is with medications designed to protect your pet from parasites. These come in a variety of easy-to-administer forms such as chewables, topicals, and collars. No matter which form you choose, parasite preventatives need to be carefully administered according to instructions to ensure your pet is adequately protected.
You can also protect your pets by avoiding areas where ticks are common. These include brushy, grassy, and heavily wooded areas. You should also check your pet for ticks after coming in from outside. Check their ears, nose, between their toes, legs, and their belly.

Parasite Protection With Our Mobile Veterinarian in Carlsbad, CA

Lyme disease isn’t the only tick-borne illness; there are plenty of others and lots of health risks for pets that are related to other parasites, too. To keep your pets safe and healthy, parasite prevention from all sorts of parasites and the health risks they prevent should be a routine part of your pet’s ongoing wellness and preventative care. Our veterinarians at Signature Veterinary Services recommend protecting pets with preventative medications that guard against ticks, fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites.
To get a recommendation on the safest and most effective parasite preventative medications for the pets in your family, we welcome you to schedule a housecall appointment with our mobile veterinary clinic.
is-my-pet-protected-from-lyme-disease_strip4
10-superfoods-for-your-dog-strip1
No human or dog could hope to be healthy without getting the right amount of calories and the proper nutrition in their diet. While there are plenty of resources available to find super-healthy foods for humans, not many people talk about the foods (outside of high-quality kibble) that are best for your dog. The following are ten superfoods that come packed with vital nutrients to support your dog in living their best, healthiest life.

10 Superfoods for Your Dog

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are not only the perfect size to be a dog treat, dogs love their flavor, too! Plus, blueberries are full of beneficial antioxidants and fiber.

2. Kale

Kale is loaded with fiber and minerals that help to support heart and liver health in dogs.

3. Salmon

Salmon is a great source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids to boost your dog’s immune system.

4. Pears

Pear slices are low-calorie and a healthy alternative to store-bought dog treats.

5. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and also contain nearly a whole alphabet’s worth of vitamins.

6. Pumpkin

Pure pumpkin is a great source of fiber.

7. Purple Cabbage

Purple cabbage is chock-full of antioxidants.

8. Apples

Seed-free apples contain lots of fiber and nutrients and help keep your pet’s teeth clean.

9. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a good source of minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids which keeps the skin and coat healthy.

10. Carrots

A fun, crunchy treat for dogs, carrots contain fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin A.
10-superfoods-for-your-dog-strip3

Canine Nutritional Counseling With Our Mobile Veterinary Clinic

These superfoods are packed with beneficial nutrients that can help your dog stay healthy, happy, and energetic. However, we always recommend checking with one of our veterinarians before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. All dogs have different dietary needs and these needs change throughout a dog’s life. As a result, the foods that are right for one pup might not be the best choice for another.
To learn more about your dog’s nutritional needs or to talk with a veterinarian about the best diet, treats, and snacks for your dog, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Signature Veterinary Services today. Our veterinarians will be happy to assess your pet’s health and medical needs to help you choose the food, supplements, treats, and snacks that will help them achieve optimal health.
5-pet-poison-prevention-tips-strip1
March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and at Signature Veterinary Services, we’re using the opportunity to help educate our clients on the best ways to protect their pets from poisonous and toxic substances that can put their health and wellbeing in harm’s way.
Unfortunately, there are countless substances in and around our own homes that are poisonous and toxic to pets. Consider the following tips to pet-poison-proof your home and prevent pet poisoning.

5 Tips to Prevent Pet Poisoning

1. Choose Safe House and Garden Plants

Several of the most popular plants and flowers for growing indoors and outdoors present considerable poisoning hazards to pets. All kinds of lilies, for example, are extremely dangerous for cats. Even just a sniff of lily pollen can make a cat seriously ill. Check this list of toxic and non-toxic plants from the ASPCA.

2. Don't Give Your Pet People Foods

Before feeding your pet a human’s food, be certain it’s safe. Several people foods are actually highly toxic for pets. Some of the most common toxic foods for pets include chocolate, xylitol (artificial sweetener), alliums (the onion/garlic plant family), yeast dough, certain nuts, avocados, and grapes and raisins.

3. Store Household Cleaners and Other Chemicals Out of Reach

Household chemicals contain highly toxic and poisonous ingredients. Store these in a safe place where your pets can’t reach them.

4. Safely Store All Medications and Supplements

Prescription drugs, over-the-counter-medications, and supplements intended for human consumption are dangerous and toxic for pets.

5. Safely Store All Pet Medications

Although they’re intended for your pet’s consumption, eating a whole bottle of pet meds at once could be extremely dangerous. Store these – especially treat-flavored pills – out of your pet’s reach.
5-pet-poison-prevention-tips-strip3

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Poison

If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic or poisonous substance, time is of the essence and you must take action right away to protect your pet’s health and limit the permanent damage that the poison can do.
For more information about pet-proofing your home and creating a pet poison action plan, we welcome you to contact Signature Veterinary Services in San Diego today.
how-to-keep-your-pet-healthy-during-strip1
There are ways you can keep your pet healthy no matter the season like getting your pet regular vaccinations and providing the proper nutrition. Certain seasons, however, such as the rainy season present additional health concerns that you can use the following tips to prevent and ensure your pet stays healthy while the weather is extra wet.

6 Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy During the Rainy Season

1. Stay Dry

To prevent skin and coat problems such as dryness and infections, towel dry your pet after any time spent outside in rainy, wet weather. Prevent their coat from getting thoroughly soaked outdoors with high-quality rain gear. Just be sure not to leave your pet unattended while wearing a raincoat, as clothing items can be dangerous for pets.

2. Exercise Inside

The rainy season often prevents pet parents from taking the same long walks with their pets outside as they normally would. Make sure your pet continues to stay active and get exercise indoors if it’s too rainy to venture out.
how-to-keep-your-pet-healthy-during-strip2

3. Prevent Parasites

Disease-carrying parasites like fleas and ticks proliferate during the rainy season, so keeping your pet protected with a safe and effective parasite preventative is more important than ever.

4. Keep Paws Clean

Your pet’s paws are susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – even more so during the rainy season when it’s easy for them to pick up these things in the mud. Be sure to wash your pet’s paws with warm water and pat them dry after every trip outside. You can also protect your pet’s paws with specially designed rain booties for dogs.

5. Check Ears

Wet weather often leaves pets’ ears more moist than normal. This puts them at risk for bacterial and fungal infections. Be sure to keep your pet’s ears clean and dry – especially, if your dog has floppy or folded ears.

6. Stay Calm During Storms

The rainy season brings lightning and thunder which can cause many pets anxiety. Create a safe space with white noise for your pet and be sure your pet is microchipped if you dare to go outside during a thunderstorm.
how-to-keep-your-pet-healthy-during-strip3

More Pet Health Advice With Our Mobile Veterinary Clinic

Signature Veterinary Services is here to help you keep your pets healthy throughout every season of the year. Whether your pet’s due for a checkup and vaccine boosters or you’d like to discuss pet microchips or a parasite preventative that’s safe for your whole family, we welcome you to schedule an appointment for your pet with our mobile veterinary clinic today.