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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
Winter might not bring feet of snow to sunny San Diego, but it does bring precipitation and generally drier air inside and outside. As a result, your pet’s skin can become dry, itchy, flaky, inflamed, and downright uncomfortable. Plus, excessive scratching can lead to cuts, skin infections, and other problems.
To keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy throughout the winter, consider the following tips.

6 Tips to Protect Your Pet's Skin During Winter

1. Stay Dry

When your pet’s skin is dry, you might think more moisture is better. Water, however, strips your pet’s coat and skin of the natural oils that keep it conditioned and protected from the elements. After playing in the rain or splashing at the beach, be sure to dry your dog off right away.

2. Brush Frequently

Brushing cleans your pet’s coat of dirt, debris, and parasites, while also helping to remove dry or dead skin cells as the brushing distributes natural oils throughout the pet’s coat. As a result, your pet won’t be quite as itchy, won’t scratch as much, and will enjoy healthier skin.

3. Limit Baths

Once again, less water is better during the winter. Most pets’ coats are actually somewhat self-cleaning, so unless your pet takes a roll in the mud, we recommend skipping the baths in the winter and focusing on regular brushing, instead.

4. Use Conditioning Shampoos

If you do give your pet a bath during the winter, always use a shampoo that is also conditioning and moisturizing. Pick a pet-safe formulation that includes a natural moisturizing ingredient like lanolin that will soothe your pet’s skin and protect it from the weather.

5. Run a Humidifier

If your home’s particularly dry from running a heater, then a humidifier will help your dog’s skin and coat.

6. Provide the Right Nutrients

Make sure your pet is eating enough Omega 3 fatty acids with well-balanced pet food or by giving them pet-safe nutritional supplements.

Schedule a Nutritional Counseling Appointment With Our Mobile Veterinarian in Carlsbad

To find out if your pet could benefit from a dietary supplement during the winter or year-round, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a housecall veterinarian. With Signature Veterinary Services, we bring all the care your pets need right to your doorstep, so you can avoid the stress and difficulties associated with transporting your pet to a veterinary clinic for care.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact us today.

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Pet

It’s tough to believe, but 2021 is on its way out, and 2022 is approaching swiftly. If you’ve been too busy keeping up with the hustle and bustle of the holidays to think about your New Year’s resolutions, we have a list of resolution ideas that are perfect for you and your pet. Pick one or keep them all!

7 New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep With Your Pet

1. Always Measure Your Pet's Portions

Pet obesity is a serious problem, and it’s on the rise. It can lead to a whole host of health problems that can reduce a pet’s quality of life and shorten your pet’s lifespan. A healthy weight starts with a healthy, properly portioned diet. Keep a resolution to measure your pet’s food at every feeding, and make it easy by keeping a measuring cup in your pet’s food container.

2. Get More Exercise

Another way to combat obesity while promoting general good health for both you and your pet is to get more exercise together. Head out for more daily walks – or finally, get in a routine of walking every day. Just be sure to start slowly and work your way up to longer, faster, more strenuous activities, especially if you and your pet have been rather sedentary as of late.

3. Learn Pet First Aid

Find a local pet first aid class that could save your pet’s or another pet’s life during an emergency. You can learn how to treat wounds and administer CPR to dogs and cats.

4. Learn New Tricks

Sign yourself and your pet up for some obedience classes to improve your skills working together while enriching both of your lives. In addition to learning some new tricks, you both might make some new friends, too.

5. Play More

Play is important for the mental health of pets. Make a point to pick up some new, exciting toys and schedule some playtime with your pets indoors or outdoors.

6. Update Identification

Make sure that your pet’s ID tags are readable and that the information is current. Also, take a moment to log in to your pet’s microchip provider to make sure your subscription is paid and your pet’s information is current. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip yet, we strongly encourage you to schedule a microchipping appointment.

7. Schedule an Annual Checkup With Our Mobile Veterinarian

Finally, don’t forget to schedule your pet’s annual wellness and preventative care appointment with Signature Veterinary Services!

Why Adopting a Senior Pet Is the Best

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, but at Signature Veterinary Services, we think that every month is the perfect month for adopting a senior pet because they’re amazing. Sure, everyone loves puppies and kittens; they’re so cute! But senior dogs and cats have a lot to offer, too, and they’re actually a much better choice for many new pet parents.

5 Reasons Why Adopting a Senior Pet Is the Best

1. They're (Usually) Already Trained

Senior pets have already been around the block, so to speak. They already know what humans expect from them in terms of behavior. Most of them know their manners, know how to walk on a leash, and are already housebroken.
As a result, your flooring and furniture will stay intact, and you won’t have to do so much work to socialize and train your new pet.

2. They Require Less Pet-Proofing and Monitoring

Senior pets have WAY less energy than puppies and kittens. You likely won’t come home to find that an older pet has tipped over all of your plant pots, climbed the curtains, or gotten into any other form of trouble.
While you should still make sure that all toxic substances or potentially dangerous objects are out of your new pet’s reach, you will not need to do nearly as much work to pet-proof your home for an older pet as you would when bringing home a pet that has yet to mature.

3. Fewer Surprises

Puppies and kittens are blank slates that could wind up with any number of developmental health problems as they grow. When you adopt a senior pet, you will already know what you’re getting yourself into, in terms of your new pet’s veterinary care and at-home healthcare needs.

4. They've Already Developed Personalities

An older pet’s personality is already finished developing, too. This means you’ll be well aware of your new pet’s demeanor before you bring them home, ensuring you pick a pet that will be a good fit for your lifestyle and everyone in your household.

5. All Pets Deserve a Second Chance

As people readily fall in love with puppies and kittens, older pets are often overlooked in animal shelters, but they need homes, too. Plus, senior pets will be snuggly, appreciative, and very happy to be returning to a loving, comfortable home.

New Pet Appointments With Our Mobile Veterinary

When you adopt a new pet, remember to establish care with the mobile veterinarians at Signature Veterinary Services.

Pet Safety Tips for a Halloween That's 100% Treats

The spookiest season has arrived. With it comes loads of fall fun and festivities. However, not everything that comes with celebrating Halloween is fun – or safe – for our pets. So, consider the following tips to make sure this Halloween is 100% treats for your whole family, furry friends included.

5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

1. Store Treats Safely

Most Halloween candy and treats are unsafe and even toxic for our pets. Any treats containing chocolate, xylitol (artificial sweetener), raisins, and certain nuts are poisonous for pets. Keep treats safely away from your pets and contact a local emergency veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control immediately if your pet has eaten anything toxic.

2. Beware of Dangerous Decor

Fake blood and glow sticks contain toxic chemicals. Bouncing eyeballs and plastic spiders pose a choking risk. Candle flames can burn. Fake cobwebs can entangle or strangulate animals, and string lights can cause electrocution. Be mindful of your pets when you put up your decorations.

3. Choose a Costume Wisely

It’s fun to dress up our pets for Halloween; they just look so adorable! However, your pets might not find it as cute. Make sure you choose a costume that will be comfortable for your pet and remove any embellishments that could pose a choking hazard for your pet. Never leave your pet unattended when they’re in a costume.

4. Keep Your Pets Secure

There’s a higher threat on Halloween for cats who are left outside, but all animals are in increased danger on all hallow’s eve because they can easily become frightened of trick-or-treaters and run away.
Keep your pets safely secured indoors, away from all the festivities and excitement. This will reduce their stress and ensure they stay safe.

5. Make Sure Your Pet Has Reliable Identification

Frightened pets who are kept securely indoors still have a risk of running away by either escaping out the door when you open it for a trick-or-treater or by breaking out a window screen. Make sure your contact information on your pet’s collar tags and associated with their microchip number is up to date.

Schedule a Microchipping Appointment With Signature Veterinary Services

If your pet does not yet have a microchip, we strongly encourage you to get one. The procedure is quick and nearly painless for pets, similar to receiving a vaccination. To learn more or schedule a house call appointment to have your pets microchipped before Halloween, we welcome you to contact our mobile veterinary clinic today.

Animal Pain Awareness Month: Recognizing and Managing Chronic Pain in Cats & Dogs

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, and Signature Veterinary Services is using the opportunity to help families with pets be more aware of the subtle signs of pain in cats and dogs.
In the wild, sick or injured pets are more vulnerable to predators than healthy animals. As a result, our pets instinctively mask signs of pain, illness, and injury. This instinct can make it difficult to know when your pet might be in pain.

5 Signs of Pain in Dogs and Cats

Often the only indication that something is wrong with a pet is a subtle change in their appearance, personality, behaviors, routine, appetite, or energy level. If you notice any of the following signs, symptoms, or unexplained changes in your pet, we encourage you to schedule a checkup right away.

1. Excessive Vocalization

When in pain, you might notice your dog or cat whimpering, yowling, howling, growling, or hissing more than normal. Pay attention to your pet’s normal vocalization so that you’ll be able to recognize unusual sounds.

2. Excessive Grooming

Your cat might focus its grooming on one particular spot more than the rest of its body. Your dog might persistently lick, chew, or bite at a particular spot. This can indicate a spot where your pet is experiencing pain.

3. Panting or Purring More Than Normal

If your dog seems to pant – even when at rest – and your cat is purring more than normal, they could be in pain. Dogs often pant and cats purr in an attempt to soothe themselves.

4. Limping or Limb Favoring

If your pet is injured or suffering from a musculoskeletal problem like arthritis, they might limp or favor a limb. You might also notice changes to their posture. Pets might also seem reluctant to play or lose mobility.

5. Isolation and Antisocial Behavior

Not wanting to be touched or hiding away from the family can also indicate pain.

Pet Pain Management With Our Mobile Veterinarian

If your pet seems to be in pain, we invite you to schedule a checkup right away. Pets don’t experience pain for no reason; pain is a symptom of illness or injury.
Our veterinarian can examine your pet to determine the underlying cause of the pain and provide you with a variety of treatment options designed to address the cause of symptoms and manage the pain.
To learn more or to schedule a pain management appointment for your pet, please contact Signature Veterinary Services today.

Top 5 Reasons Why We Immunize Our Pets

With all the vaccine controversy in the news, many pet parents are wondering whether we should vaccinate our pets and if pet vaccines are actually safe. The answers to these questions are a resounding yes and yes!
Pet vaccines are some of the safest veterinary treatments available, they’re highly effective, and there are several reasons why you should continue vaccinating your pets according to the preventative care schedule recommended by your veterinarian.

Top 5 Reasons Why We Immunize Our Pets

1. It's the Law

Local laws require that pets be vaccinated against certain diseases such as rabies and distemper. Neglecting to vaccinate your pets against these diseases is against the law.

2. It Prevents Suffering and Saves Pet Lives

Vaccinating pets prevents them from contracting a variety of dangerous infectious diseases, many of which have no effective treatments.
When unvaccinated pets fall ill, veterinarians often can only provide supportive care (fluid administration and pain medications). As a result, pets are at high risk of suffering significantly, incurring permanent health damage, or even dying.

3. It Protects People

Many diseases that vaccines prevent pets from contracting are classified as zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. Vaccinating your pets not only safeguards your pets’ health, but also the health of your human friends, family, and neighbors.

4. It's Good for the Community

Vaccinating pets reduces the prevalence of contagious diseases throughout the community. When pets are responsibly vaccinated, there is a much lower transmission rate between wild animals, pets, and people. This improves the safety of the community overall.

5. It's Safe, Effective, and Inexpensive

It’s easy to argue that vaccines are the safest and most effective preventative care available. They work well, they’re inexpensive, and the risk of adverse reactions is incredibly small.
Plus, the cost of vaccinating your pets will always be less expensive than the cost of treating a pet that has contracted a contagious disease.

Mobile Wellness and Preventative Care for Pets

If your pet is due for vaccinations, booster shots, and a general wellness checkup, but you find it difficult to get into a veterinary clinic with your pet, then we strongly encourage you to consider establishing care with Signature Veterinary Services.
Our mobile veterinary clinic brings all the veterinary care your pet needs to stay healthy right to your doorstep. So, you can protect your pet from dangerous diseases without the stress of visiting the animal hospital.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact us today.

Dog Beach Safety Tips & Tricks

It’s summer and the prime beach-going season has arrived. Naturally, you want your dog to get in on the fun, too! So, consider the following beach safety tips for dogs to make sure your entire family – furry members included – stay safe while having fun at the beach.

5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach

1. Make Sure Your Dog Likes the Beach

Not all dogs love sand, and not all dogs are natural swimmers. Before taking your dog out for a whole day at the beach, make a quick stop to see if your dog likes the sand and enjoys splashing in the water. If not, then you’ll know it’s best to leave your pet at home for your beach day.

2. Beware of Leash-Free Beaches

While you should always make sure you take your dog to dog-friendly beaches where pets are allowed, it’s not always advisable to visit beaches that don’t require leashes. Just like dog parks aren’t always the safest place for your dog, you might encounter aggressive dogs at the beach.
Instead, bring an extra-long leash to a dog-friendly beach that requires dogs to be on a leash at all times.

3. Provide Fresh Water and Shade

Although the ocean’s right there, try to keep your dog from drinking the salty water. Make sure you pack enough fresh water to keep you and your pet hydrated for the whole day. Additionally, you should bring some sort of shelter to provide shade so that your dog has a place to retreat when the sun is overhead and at its hottest.

4. Prevent Sunburn

If your dog has had a haircut or naturally has a short coat, you’ll need to prevent sunburn with a dog-friendly, chemical-free sunscreen. Lather it all over your dog’s body, paying close attention to places like the ears and snout where skin will be even more exposed to the sun.

5. Rinse Off

Sand and salt from the ocean water get trapped in your dog’s coat and can irritate his/her skin, leading to dermatological problems. Always thoroughly rinse your pet with fresh water after a day at the beach.

Maximize Your Summer Fun Time With Convenient Mobile Veterinary Care

There’s no sense in spending time driving your pet to and from a veterinary clinic when Signature Veterinary Services can bring complete veterinary care right to your doorstep. With the convenience of a mobile veterinary clinic, you can maximize your time at the beach this summer!
To learn more about establishing your pet’s care with our mobile veterinary clinic, we welcome you to contact Signature Veterinary Services today.

How to Support Someone Who Has Had to Say Goodbye to Their Pet

If you have ever lost a pet, then you know how difficult and lengthy the grieving process can be, and you probably already understand some of the ways you can support your friends and family when they endure the same situation. If you’ve never experienced saying a final goodbye to a beloved pet, then it’s important to understand that the pain of losing a pet is very real.
Keep reading to learn some helpful ways in which you can show sincerity, sympathy, and support to your loved ones during their time of loss.

5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Who Has Lost a Pet

1. Recognize the Loss

The first step in comforting a friend who has lost a pet is to simply recognize the loss. Let your friend know that you’re sorry and that you understand he or she is in pain. Additionally, it’s important to avoid trying to downplay the loss of a pet or suggest that a beloved pet can be replaced.

2. Ask How You Can Help

Directly asking your friend if there’s anything you can do during the grieving process demonstrates support and can be immensely comforting.

3. Send Something

Sending a card with a simple note to let your friend know you care or even giving them a gift card for a meal delivery service can provide comfort. No matter what you choose to do, your friend will feel a little less lonely and appreciate having you there – even if “there” is far away.

4. Help Memorialize the Pet

Without a funeral, finding closure can be difficult. You can offer to help honor your loved one’s pet with a plaque, garden statue, portrait, or even an informal memorial service.

5. Be Understanding and Base Your Support on Your Friend's Grieving Style

It’s important to understand that everyone processes loss and grief differently. Some people need to draw inward and spend time on their own to heal, while others need increased social support. Talk openly with your loved ones about what they need. Be prepared to be there for them, but don’t be offended or too worried if they would prefer to be alone.

Learn More About Navigating a Pet's Final Moments With the Help of a Mobile Veterinarian

At Signature Veterinary Service, we understand how difficult it can be to face your pet’s final months, weeks, days, or moments, and our veterinarians will be here for you every step of the way with convenient, compassionate care. We provide in-home end-of-life care and euthanasia to ensure our patients experience a peaceful, dignified passing.
To learn more we welcome you to contact our mobile veterinary clinic in Carlsbad, CA today.