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Doggie Dental Time: 5 Signs It’s Not Just Puppy Breath

dogbreath

Like you, your dogs can be plagued with dental issues. Dogs suffer from buildup of gingivitis, periodontal disease, and even painful tooth infections or rotting teeth. However, unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to speak up and let you know that their tooth is bothering them or how badly it hurts. It’s up to you, as the loving pet owner, to be aware of any dental issues that may be affecting your pup and provide preventative care so they can have a happy, healthy smile.

That’s why ZippiVet offers full comprehensive dental care for dogs—from routine dental checks, to cleanings to advanced treatment of any oral issues. Our professional staff is dedicated to healthy pups—so right now, we’re offering $50 off dental procedures! Stop in for a dental cleaning, check up, or for helpful tips on home canine dental care, as well as the essentials of preventative care.

Signs your pooch may need dental care:

  1. Bad breath: There’s a big difference between puppy breath and dirty, sewer breath. Excessively bad breath on your hound can be a sign of mouth disease and gingivitis.
  2. Swelling or tenderness in their mouth: If your dog is suddenly reluctant to eat hard food, seems to favor chewing on one side of their mouth, has visible swelling in the mouth or loose teeth, this can be a sign of tartar, gingivitis or a critical infection such as periodontal disease.
  3. Excessive drooling: While some breeds may be natural droolers, if your pooch is drooling much more than normal or if the drool has traces of blood it in it, this can be a sign of dental problems.
  4. Lumps and bumps: When you’re brushing your dog’s teeth or checking out their mouths make sure to check for lumps on the gums (which may be tumors) and hard bumps or cysts underneath the tongue.
  5. Behavioral changes: One of the biggest signs your dog may be sick or in need of dental care is changes in behavior. If they have suddenly lost interest in their favorite toys or games or suddenly seem sluggish and disoriented get them to the vet immediately.

The most important thing you can do to ensure your pup has a healthy smile is regular brushing and making a point to pay attention to their gum and teeth health. Dental issues can result in painful swelling or loose teeth, making it difficult to eat, or infections can enter the bloodstream through the mouth, causing long term damage to the kidney or liver. If your dog is exhibiting any of the signs of dental disease, come to ZippiVet today for a thorough check up with your $50 off coupon.

When Nine Lives Run Out: Pet Insurance Or Preventative Care?

pet-blog

When you have a pet, you have to prepare for accidents. Most of the time, those accidents might be a piddle on the rug or some chewed up shoes, but occasionally, your pet may be involved in something more dangerous: a serious illness, or a surgery that takes a lot of worry, time, and money.  Thankfully—like humans—some of that cost and worry can be alleviated with insurance.

Most pet owners would be more than willing to shell out the big bucks to save our beloved pets. But the question remains: is it affordable? Unnoticed diseases can result in thousands of dollars in procedures, and even a moderate surgery at a pet hospital can cost you between $5,000 to $10,000—out of pocket. That’s why many people take out pet insurance for their pet. For a small fee per month, dog or cat insurance can help with large, unplanned expenses that may incur from serious emergencies, complicated surgeries or extensive illnesses.

However, just like human insurance, pet insurance can have its drawbacks.

"How you feeling?" "Ruff!"

“How you feeling?” “Ruff!”

(Image via Flickr)

Monthly costs can be very high, especially if you have a dog breed prone to hereditary diseases. Many cat or dog insurances won’t cover certain expenses including common, hereditary diseases or congenital diseases: they may require you to see a specialized veterinarian instead of your primary vet. Most likely, traditional pet insurance will help when it comes to pet vaccinations or big accidents, but leave it to you to spend most of your money on annual visits, medications, and preventative care costs. All which quickly add up.

Many vets will suggest that instead of focusing on the big what-ifs when it comes to your pet, the best course of action is to focus on preventive care. ZippiVet, one of Austin’s most trusted Animal Hospital’s, developed the ZippiCare Wellness Program: a monthly program devoted to a low-cost continual health plan for your pet to accurately monitor, prevent, diagnose and treat issues as they occur. The wellness plan not only provides a guided timeline of when to bring in your pet but saves you money on the total cost of veterinary visits and treatments. What’s more, treatment comes from your regular veterinarian at Zippivet—someone whom both you and your pet have developed a relationship with, and who has intimate knowledge about the best way to treat your pet. Even the best pet insurance plans can’t offer that. At less than $40 a month ZippiCare offers 2 yearly physical exams, core vaccinations, parasite control, dental cleaning and x-rays plus unlimited office visits and walk in service; saving you over $1,000 a year on pet care.

Being in one of the most pet friendly cities in America, many Austin businesses are also partnering with ZippiVet over traditional pet insurance. Employers have the freedom to decide what coverage to include, and employees get deluxe veterinary clinic services, the friendliest vets in town and no enrollment fee. Because we all know that happy pets equal happy people—and happy pets make for happy employees.

Contact your ZippiVet veterinarian today to discuss the advantages of the Wellness Program vs. traditional dog insurance or cat insurance.

 

Best Dog Breeds For Families

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In Austin, we love our pets. Really, truly, maybe even a little too much love our pets. Most of the people who visit our Austin animal hospital see their dogs as extended furry family members. (Don’t worry, that’s normal, so do our veterinarians, vet techs and staff.)

If you’re looking to add to your family, it’s important to know that some breeds are more family-friendly than others. Here are a few breeds that make for great family pets!

 

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(photo via: Flickr)

First, and most loved in the Austin area, we have the mutt. Rescue a mixed-breed dog and it will be devoted to you for life. Visit a local shelter and find a mid to large size dog that will be perfect for your family; smaller dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkies can be difficult for families with children as they can be overlooked during roughhousing and stepped on. Find the perfect dog for your family by choosing one that matches the energy level in your house – nothing that needs more exercise than you have time to give, or it will end up back in the shelter.

 

beagle

(photo via: Flickr)

Next we have the Beagle. The regal Beagle is friendly, sturdy, and makes a great nanny for kids (Snoopy wasn’t Charlie Brown’s companion for nothing). They can be a little high maintenance in terms of grooming but well worth it when you see the bond between the dog and your children. The downside? Some can be pretty pleased with their own howling skills. Beagles can be prone to skin problems, so be sure to come see ZippiVet for regular checkups.

 

bulldog

(photo via: Flickr)

Another great family dog is the English Bulldog. Nothing can take down the strong and steady bulldog, even a rough and tumble play time. If space is an issue, the bulldog is just as happy in a small apartment as in a sprawling mansion.

 

bullterrier

(photo via: Flickr)

If your kids need an active play pal, consider a Bull Terrier. Bull Terriers are smart, friendly and energetic, but also have an overall calm nature and don’t stress or spook easily. They are also incredibly sweet and protective of children and do well in large, busy households.

 

vizsla

(photo via: Flickr)

Less well-known is the Vizsla, who is loyal, quiet and affectionate. However, the Vizsla is very energetic and needs a lot of exercise. This breed is very intelligent and loves to learn tricks, so you and your kids can bond by training the dog together.

 

collie

(photo via: Flickr)

Collies love nothing more than to make their families happy. They are extremely intelligent and easily trainable (think Lassie), but do have a high maintenance long-haired coat. This beautiful breed makes a wonderful family dog.

 

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(photo via: Flickr)

Known for their size, the Newfoundland is the unexpected ultimate family dog. This breed loves people and loves to keep an eye on its pack members, especially the children. The Newfoundland’s nickname is actually “Nature’s Nanny,” as they seem to have a maternal instinct that makes them natural baby sitters. They are large dogs so they aren’t made for apartments, but they will love you and your family with a fierce loyalty.

 

Poppy Standing

(photo via: Flickr)

The Standard Poodle is very smart, gentle, and good-natured, making it an excellent family dog. They do not shed a lot, which helps anyone with allergies, and they are of a solid stature for children who like to play around. Don’t be mistaken, though. Miniature poodles are not good with children. They are very hyperactive, high strung, and need to be coddled.

 

lab

(photo via: Flickr)

One of America’s sweethearts, the Labrador Retriever; there’s almost no way you could go wrong. Labs are protective, loyal, reliable, sweet, and playful. They love to learn tricks, play with children, and lie at your feet at night.

 

golden

(photo via: Flickr)

The lovely Golden Retriever is brother to the Labrador but with a few noted differences. They have a shorter life span, around twelve years at the most. They are famed for their extreme patience, despite being highly energetic, and are known to be useful with children.

Once you find the perfect pup for your family, ZippiVet can help you create an ideal health and wellness plan for a lifetime of happiness!