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.

How to Help Your Pet Stay Hydrated


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.

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:

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.

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?

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.

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.
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.

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.
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!

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.