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High Risk Or Hairball? What’s A Pet Emergency?

Emergency Vet

Your pet’s illness doesn’t observe normal business hours, and neither do we. Whether your pet needs vaccines boostered or life-saving treatment, ZippiVet is open late on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

What is Considered an Emergency for Dogs and Cats?

The following conditions warrant an immediate visit. Severely injured pets may act aggressively toward their pet parents, so exercise caution when handling injured pets.

  • Trauma
    • bite wounds, lacerations, punctures
    • hit by car
    • blunt object trauma
    • falls
  • Bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or blood present in urine or feces.
  • Signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, hiding, panting, and circling.
  • You suspect broken bones.
  • Your pet collapses or is unable to stand
  • Your pet has had or is having a seizure
  • Disorientation, bumping into things
  • Eye injuries or sudden blindness
  • Loss of conciousness
  • Breathing difficulties or hacking and gagging
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that persists more than 12 hours
  • Swollen and distended abdomen, with vomiting and/or retching
  • Straining to urinate or unable to urinate (particularly in male animals)
  • More than three to four hours between delivering puppies or kittens.
  • Toxin ingestion
    • Antifreeze
    • rat poison
    • any kind of medication that wasn’t prescribed for your pet
    • household cleansers
    • Plants
    • Sugar free food, candy, or gum (xylitol)
  • Symptoms of heatstroke.

Be Prepared for an Emergency

Your first step is to call your veterinarian. Keep your veterinarian’s name and number as a “favorite” on your mobile phone and in an easily accessible area of your home.

If you and your pet are in an unfamiliar city, use a hospital locator tool to find a vet hospital near you.

What Illnesses and Accidents Can ZippiVet Treat?

Our veterinarians can handle all of the emergencies mentioned above during our operating hours. If you’re concerned about your pet, you should never feel embarrassed about calling us. Our passion is keeping your pet healthy and happy.
ZippiVet is open for walk-ins, drop-offs, and appointments Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., except for a few major holidays. You can always reach us by phone at 512.904.0218 (North) or 512.514.1118 (South) or book an appointment online

New Tricks for Owners of Old Dogs

old dog care

We love our dogs, from whether they are roly-poly puppies or distinguished seniors with gray coats. As your dog gets older, they need special care and it’s extra important that you make regular veterinary visits. Here’s what you need to know to care for your senior dog.  

What risks do senior dogs face?

As your dog ages, health issues may arise, including the deterioration of their skin and coat, loss of muscle mass, more frequent intestinal problems, arthritis, limited mobility, obesity, dental problems and/or a decreased ability to fight off infection. As your dog heads into their senior years, they may not be able to run as fast, jump as high or have the stamina they once had.

Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be avoided. If a drastic change must be made to an older pet’s routine, try to minimize the stress by introducing the change in a gradual manner.

What qualifies as a senior dog?

Dogs may begin to experience physical changes between seven and 12 years of age. Like people, each dog ages at different rates, so yours may stay spry well into double digits. Mixed breeds and many smaller dogs tend to live longer. A small dog of less than 20 pounds might not show any signs of aging until they are age 12 or so. A 50-pound dog won’t “seem” old until approximately 10. Larger dogs begin to show their age at age eight or nine.  

How do you exercise senior dogs?

Older dogs tend to be less active than they were in their younger days. Degeneration of joints due to long-term wear and tear happens naturally, but can be exacerbated by obesity. Certain breeds are more prone to congenital issues like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and rheumatoid arthritis as they age. When your dog is experiencing limited mobility as a result of age or obesity, you may need to adapt your playtime routine.

While indoors, provide your senior dog with an environment full of both physical and mental stimulation to help them feel more youthful and active. Provide their treat toys (like a Kong) to dispense meals in smaller doses to improve both physical and mental function (by making them work for their snack) and to promote weight loss in heavier dogs. If you have stairs, ramps can help an older dog keep moving around the house without causing them too much pain.

Keep your dog healthy with regular outdoor walks throughout the week. Several shorter walks might be a better fit for a senior dog. Find a comfortable distance for them to walk each day.

Swimming is another option to help exercise older dogs without hurting their joints as they age.


Though dogs with physical limitations may want to keep playing, chasing balls and jumping like they did in their youth, senior dogs may not have the stamina anymore and they may also be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Limit exercise and keep older dogs well hydrated and in the shade on our 90°F days. Avoiding heat stroke in the Austin climate is important.

Before starting your senior dog on any exercise routine, check in with your veterinarian on how to safely be physically active and discuss how to work with any health issues they may have.

What do you feed senior dogs?

As dogs age there are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes that follow. Some of these changes may be managed with their diet. Special senior dog foods help them maintain their health and optimum body weight, slow development of chronic disease and minimize current diseases.

  • Importantly, studies have shown that the protein requirement for older dogs does not decrease with age. Feed older dogs diets that contain optimum levels of highly digestible protein in order to help maintain a good level of muscle mass.
  • Older dogs may be prone to put on body fat, even if they eat less, due to reduced energy expenditure or a change in their metabolic rate. Feed your senior dog a diet with a lower calories to avoid weight gain.
  • We may recommend increasing a senior Dog’s Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) intake through food or supplements. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that plays a role in the maintenance their healthy skin and coat.
  • Aging can affect a dog’s intestinal bacteria, which can result in symptoms of gastrointestinal disease. Senior dog diets should contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Antioxidants, including vitamin E and beta-carotene may help eliminate free radicals, the particles that may damage body tissues and cause signs of aging. A senior dog’s diet should contain higher levels of these antioxidants.
  • A dog’s breed, size and health help your vet determine when it’s time to start buying senior dog food.

Keep your dog healthy with routine care and veterinary exams to assess the presence or progress of any chronic disease. If you’re unsure about what to food or supplements to feed your senior dog or how to give them exercise and care at home, ZippiVet is ready to help you seven days a week. Schedule an appointment online and keep your old dog happy and healthy!

The Puppy Killer You Need To Know About: Parvo

parvo in puppies

Like little humans, puppies are vulnerable to a number of contagious diseases and viruses since their immune systems are not yet fully developed. If you’ve got a new pup or even an older dog from an animal shelter or a friend, you need to protect your new pet from the potentially deadly canine parvovirus.

What is Parvo?

The deadly canine parvovirus is commonly referred to as parvo or “CPV-2” by veterinarians. Once it is contracted, parvo is a very contagious virus that can affect all dogs. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk for Parvo. The virus most often affects the lymph nodes, blood stream and small intestines of dogs. Some also see an affected heart. It can be fatal if not noticed or treated quickly.

How Does a Dog Get Parvo?

The virus enters the body through the mouth as a puppy or dog cleans itself or eats food off the ground or floor. A minuscule amount of infected feces (stool) is all it takes.

Parvo is typically spread directly from dog to dog, but contact with contaminated stool, environments, or people can also spread the disease. Once infected, a dog with parvo may contaminate food, water bowls, collars, and leashes – as well as a dog’s bedding or crate. Once a dog or puppy is infected, there is an incubation period of three to seven days before the onset of first symptoms.

Pet owners can get parvo infections through their hands, clothing and shoes if they touch infected dogs and their stools. The parvovirus is resistant to heat, cold, humidity,  and drying and can survive in the environment for long periods of time.

Signs that Your Dog May Have Parvo

Dogs that develop parvo will show symptoms three to 10 days after being exposed. Symptoms include: vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea (usually bloody) and fever. The gastrointestinal tract is where the heaviest damage occurs.

Parvoviral infections are characterized by a drop in white blood cell count due to a bone marrow infection. The dog’s diarrhea may become bloody and bacteria can enter the body, causing widespread infection, as the virus destroys the bone marrow’s ability to create infection-fighting white blood cells.

“Early recognition of the signs of parvo by pet owners, followed by a quick diagnosis and an aggressive treatment plan at the vet can boost survival rates to 90%,” Dr. Audrey Wystrach said.

If your puppy or dog shows any signs of parvo, see your veterinarian immediately.

A parvovirus infection is diagnosed based on a dog’s history, a physical examination, and laboratory tests. Common lab tests include the ELISA, PCR and complete blood count evaluation. Each test provides slightly different information, and sometimes more than one type of test may be done by your vet.

What Types of Dogs are Vulnerable to Parvo?

Parvo most often strikes in pups between six and 20 weeks old, but older dogs are sometimes also affected if they have not been vaccinated. (A rare variant of the disease may be seen in very young (neonatal) puppies is myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle).

Parvo first emerged among dogs in Europe around 1976. By 1978 the virus had spread unchecked, causing a worldwide epidemic of myocarditis and inflammation in the intestines.

We now know that the virus is not limited to companion dogs, but is capable of causing infections in wild canines such as coyotes and wolves.

How Do I Prevent Parvo in My Dog?

Until a puppy has received its complete series of shots, pet owners should use caution when bringing their pet to places where young puppies congregate (e.g. parks, puppy classes, doggy daycare, boarding kennels, and groomers).

Vaccination against CPV-2 and good hygiene are how best to prevent the disease. Young puppies, (like human babies) are most susceptible to infection, particularly because the natural immunity provided in their mother’s milk may wear off before the puppy’s own immune system is mature enough to fight off infection. If a puppy is exposed to canine parvovirus during this gap in protection, they may become ill.

To provide the best protection against parvovirus during the first few months of life, a series of puppy vaccinations are administered by your vet:

  • Veterinarians typically administer the parvo shot as part of a combination vaccine, which often includes the distemper, canine adenovirus, and parainfluenza vaccines. These shots are given every three to four weeks from the time a puppy is six weeks old until they are at least 16 weeks of age.
  • If you do not have an early shot record for your pet, bring in your puppy to receive a dose of canine parvovirus vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age to develop adequate virus protection.
  • Booster vaccinations are recommended one year later, and then again at three year intervals for the life of your dog.
  • To protect all adult dogs, pet owners should be sure that their dog’s parvovirus vaccination is always up-to-date.

What is the Treatment for Parvo?

Intensive care treatment is given by a veterinarian to combat dehydration by replacing electrolyte, protein and fluid losses, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections. Sick dogs are kept warm and receive nursing care at the vet hospital or clinic. Since parvovirus is highly contagious, any infected dog is isolated to minimize the spread of infection.

Proper cleaning and disinfection of contaminated bedding, crate, kennel and other areas where infected dogs are housed is essential to control the spread of parvo. Your veterinarian will provide specific guidance on cleaning and disinfecting agents for your home.
Have a new puppy or a dog who is new to you? Now is a perfect time to come in for a checkup and vaccines, including for canine parvovirus. We make it easy to schedule an appointment to be sure your dog is healthy and happy this summer!

Hot Dogs Belong On The Grill: Heat Stroke In Dogs

heat stroke in dogs

As temperatures rise, pets, including dogs who love to play outdoors, are at higher risk for heat stroke. With our hot summer season ahead in Austin, play it safe, prevent heat stroke and know its signs and when to seek medical attention for your beloved pet.

What is Heat Stroke and How Do Dogs Get It?

Classic heat stroke in dogs occurs with exposure to high temperatures – something we’re familiar with in Austin. When a dog has a spike in body temperature the extreme heat stress can both impair breathing and injure organs. The condition can be fatal if left untreated.

Signs that Your Dog May Have Heat Stroke

There are many signs that can point to heat exhaustion or heat stroke in dogs, including excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit, along with an elevated body temperature of over 104°F. Dogs have very few sweat glands and lots of fur, so they can become overheated very quickly.

Which Types of Dogs are Most Susceptible to Heat Stroke?

Older dogs and those with a dark or dense hair coat are especially prone to heat stroke. Dogs like pugs with flat faces (short muzzles) cannot pant as effectively. These characteristics, as well as things like being elderly, overweight, and with heart and/or lung diseases put dogs at higher risk for heatstroke.

How Hot is Hot? Heat Stroke and Outdoor Temperatures

The rule of thumb is to keep your dog inside during the hottest part of the day. For us in Austin, the summer sun heats us up early, so walking and playing before 9:00 a.m. and the thermometer hitting 90°F is your safest plan.  

Of note, car temperatures can be more than 40 degrees higher than outside temperatures. When it is 80°F in the early morning in Austin, parked car temperatures can rise to 99°F in just 10 minutes, even with windows left open. Keep your dog safe and comfortable in your air conditioned home.

How Do I Prevent Heat Stroke in My Dog?

During periods of hot and/or humid weather and when dogs are new to Austin’s extreme heat (for up to the first two months), avoid long periods of running and playing with them outside while they fully acclimate to summer temperatures.

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it is hot or humid outdoors. When outdoors, they need a cool, shady place to get out of the sun.

Again, dogs should never be left in parked cars for any amount of time.

What is the Best Treatment for Heat Stroke?

If signs of heatstroke are present, your dog should be immediately cooled to a rectal temperature of 103.5°F.

Start by spraying your dog with lukewarm water, draping a cold, wet towel over the dog, and placing the dog in front of a fan. Ice packs can also be placed on the neck region but they should be removed if the dog starts shivering or after 20 minutes of cooling with ice. Give you dog lots of cool water if tolerated.  

“If your dog is having trouble breathing and has a temperature of 105° F or higher, they are in distress and at risk for organ damage,” according to Dr. Audrey  Wystrach.

If your dog’s temperature remains high and they continue to experience trouble breathing, take the dog to a veterinarian on an emergency basis. Heat stroke can be life threatening.

Your veterinarian can administer refrigerated IV fluids that can improve internal cooling and help restore blood flow to vital organs and reduce further complications. Upon arrival, your dog’s airway will be checked for any upper airway obstruction and dogs that are having difficulty breathing might require oxygen therapy to breathe properly.

As Austin’s hottest season approaches, it’s the perfect time to come in for a checkup – particularly if you have short-snouted dog breed that’s susceptible to heat stroke. We make it easy to schedule an appointment to be sure your dog is ready to enjoy an Austin summer!

Protect Their Heart And Yours: Heartworm in Dogs

heartworm in dogs

It’s a known fact that heartworm is, quite literally, heartbreaking. Luckily, this deadly disease is easily avoidable with proper preventative care. One little pill or topical a month can save your dog a whole lot of pain and solitary confinement and save you lots of money and heartbreak.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Like many other dangerous pet parasites, heartworm is carried by mosquitos. A single mosquito bite can infect your dog – which makes Austin’s hot, wet climate particularly dangerous for dogs.

What is heartworm?

As its name suggests, heartworm is a parasite that infects the internal organs of your pet. When a mosquito carrying heartworm bites a pet, miniscule larvae can be deposited into the bloodstream. After six months, these larvae mature into adult heartworms. Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long and usually lodge themselves into your pet’s heart, lungs and blood vessels.

What animals can get heartworm?

Dogs, ferrets, wolves coyotes, foxes and occasionally cats.

Can my dog get heartworm from other dogs?

Technically no, however any animal infected with heartworm could potentially pass it along to a mosquito, which could infect other animals. Regardless of whether your pet is an indoor or outdoor pet, or lives in a warm region or a cold one, your pet has a chance of getting heartworm.

What are the symptoms of heartworm?

One of the worst parts of heartworm disease is the fact that there are little to no symptoms. Early heartworm can have no symptoms but as the disease progresses, mild symptoms such as a persistent cough, lethargy, decreased appetite, weight loss and a swollen belly from excess fluid can occur. If the disease involves multiple worms, cardiac blockage can occur resulting in caval syndrome: labored breathing, pale gums, bloody urine and cardiovascular collapse. Very few dogs survive caval syndrome even with surgery.

Because the symptoms can be difficult to detect it is crucial that you take your dog into your vet for heartworm detection regularly.

How can you treat heartworm?

The good news is that heartworm is treatable. The bad news is that it is expensive and can be very difficult for both you and the pup.

Typical heartworm treatment is as follows:

Diagnosis can be both costly and extensive. To determine whether your pup has heartworm and how bad the infection is, diagnosis usually requires several x-rays, blood work and several tests. Once the vet determines how severe the heartworm is they will be able to determine the proper treatment. Treatment usually involves several painful, arsenic based injections to treat the worms and larvae followed by an intensive one to three month period in which the dog may have very limited physical activity and even surgery.

How do you prevent heartworm?

Annual check ups and monthly preventive care are the best ways to avoid heartworm. Preventative care comes in both topical and pill form. However, if you miss a dose, you lower the effectiveness of prevention. Thus, we recommend regular parasite checks just in case.

When should my dog be tested for heartworm?

All dogs should be test annually during their routine checkup and maintain preventative care as prescribed by their vet.

To coincide with Austin’s rainy season, ZippiVet is offering free heartworm checks for Austin pet owners. Visit our offer page and schedule an appointment to make sure your dog is ready to enjoy an Austin summer!

Cute Name, Not-So-Cute Condition: Cherry Eye In Dogs

cherry eye in dogs

As a pet parent you probably notice a lot of little things about your pup; when their nose is dry, a change in appetite or a sore paw, but have you ever noticed that your dog has three eyelids? Like humans, dogs have an upper and lower eyelid but they also have a special third eyelid which we rarely see. Lacking opposable thumbs or the ability to wipe their eyes, dogs have developed this third eyelid which acts like a wipe to clear the eye of dust and debris and provide extra moisture to protect the eye. While this third eyelid is necessary, occasionally it can enlarge and pop out – resulting in a condition known as Cherry Eye.

Obviously it can be alarming to suddenly see a large red blob protruding from your precious pooch’s eye, so we’ve got a guide to everything you ever wanted to know about Cherry Eye in dogs.

What is Cherry Eye?

Cherry Eye in dogs is when the gland in the third eyelid prolapses and creates a small, oblong red bulge which protrudes out of the corner of one or both eyes.

What causes Cherry Eye?

No one knows exactly what causes Cherry Eye. What we do know is that the connective tissue around the tear gland weakens resulting in the gland prolapsing and protruding from the eye.

Which dogs get Cherry Eye?

While there are no known links between genetics and Cherry Eye, the following dogs are more prone to Cherry Eye:

  • Small dogs
  • Dogs aged 6 months to 2 years
  • Certain breeds including: Newfoundlands, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Shar-Peis, Shih Tzu, Beagles, Pekingese, Lhasa apso, Miniature Poodles and Neapolitan Mastiffs

Should owners worry?

While Cherry Eye in dogs can be unattractive, it usually isn’t uncomfortable or painful for the dog and rarely is it life-threatening; however it is important to consult with your vet immediately to prevent any permanent damage including vision impairment or blindness. Besides cosmetic reasons, your vet may recommend treatment on the gland to hinder abnormal discharge, prevent the dog from pawing at or irritating the eye, minimize irritation and injury to the tissue and reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infections.

What’s the treatment for Cherry Eye?

If you are concerned about your dog’s Cherry Eye, consult your vet at ZippiVet to discuss the treatment option best for you and your pup.

Non-surgical treatment: Your vet may be able to pop the gland back in place or use antibiotics or steroids to keep the gland in place and reduce exposure to environmental irritants.

Surgical treatment: If surgery is recommended for the Cherry Eye, your ZippiVet vet will use state-of-the-art surgical techniques to reposition the gland. After treatment the chance of recurrence is low and your pooch will be back to its happy, healthy self.

If your dog has Cherry Eye, or any other condition that’s troubling you, schedule an appointment at ZippiVet today!

Worse Than An Apple: White Worms In Dog Poop

Worms in dog poop

You’re being a good neighbor and picking up after your dog when you notice something – movement, in your dog’s stool. Once you get over the initial revulsion, you see that there are white worms in your dog’s poo. Don’t freak out! Unexpected surprises when you’re cleaning up after your dog are gross, but more common than you might think. Here’s what you need to know about worms in dog poop.

Tell-Tale Signs of Worms

Some dogs don’t show any symptoms when they have worms, while others can show the following:

  • Abnormal stool including: blood tinged, mucous stool or diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting or loss of appetite
  • Signs of abdominal pain including a sudden pot-belly
  • Weight loss and hair loss
  • Scooting of the hindquarters or excess licking of the anus
  • And of course the number one sign: white worms in the dog poop

What Do The Worms Look Like?

Should you care to take a closer look, you can identify what type of worms are affecting your dog by their size and shape.

 

Roundworms: Look very similar to spaghetti with long, smooth white or off tan bodies and can range from 8-18 cm.

Roundworm

Tapeworms: Have flat bodies made up of segments. White or tannish, the tapeworms themselves can be 250 cm long but you will usually only find segments of the worms in dog feces and vomit, often expanding or contracting. You may also find them clinging to hair around your pup’s anus or genital hairs.

Tapeworm

Whipworms: Extremely small and very thin (are often mistaken for a piece of hair) and thus much more difficult to notice.

Whipworm

 

How Did My Dog Get Worms?

There are many ways for your dog to come into contact with worms. Many dogs can get the worms from fleas or small rodents or from accidentally eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or stool.

 

Important Tips For Dealing With Worms

If you suspect your dog has worms, make sure to properly dispose of any and all infected dog feces from the yard and any play areas. Collect the feces with gloves and wash your hands properly to avoid passing on the worms to yourself or others.

 

Treating Worms

The veterinary staff at ZippiVet is well versed in both treating and preventing all sorts of worms and parasites. Prior to your vet visit make a list of the symptoms and behaviors you notice in your dog and try to collect a sample of the worm to bring in. The skilled ZippiVet vets will be able to administer the proper treatment and dewormer as well as help you develop the proper prevention plan for the future to keep your pup worm free for good. Contact ZippiVet today to make an appointment or speak to a vet.   

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.

 

Happy Pets, Healthy Owners: The Benefits of Pet Ownership

Happy Pets, Healthy Owners

We all have bad days. Your presentation didn’t go well, you got in a fight with your partner, and a flat tire on the way to work to do said presentation. Yet, it feels like no matter how stressed or overtired or angry you are, as soon as you walk in that front door and your pet runs to greet you with a wagging tail and a big smile, it all just melts away.

It’s no secret that pets make us happier and now a growing body of scientific evidence is revealing that pet ownership (or even just petting an animal for an extended period of time) has a significant impact on physical and mental health. Many pets are being trained for therapeutic purposes, visiting hospital patients, nursing homes, or people suffering from mental or physical disorders. The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) released an economic study explaining that not only are there numerous physical and psychological benefits to keeping a pet, but also that pet ownership saves an amazing amount of money in healthcare costs. HABRI’s economic analysis calculated an annual $11.7 billion savings in US healthcare costs because of pet ownership.

The Benefits of Pet Ownership:  

Fewer Doctor Visits

Pet owners visit doctors 11-11.3% less than non pet owners. Various studies report that pet owners around the world tend to have a lower percentage of infections, lower blood pressure, and better cholesterol. This ends up saving the US healthcare system $11.37 billion in physician office visits.

Lower Rates of Obesity

Pet owners tend to be more physically fit. Nearly a quarter of dog owners walk their dogs five or more times per week – lowering the incidence of obesity. Having a dog in the family also encourages your kids and teens to play with and walk the dog more – resulting in lowered rates of adolescent obesity. Simply walking your dog can save the US healthcare system $419 million in healthcare costs.

Less Stress

Owning a pet has often been linked with lower rates of stress. A study that gave pets to people with high stress occupancies saw a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiovascular issues in general. It works on a larger scale as well, offices that allow employees to bring their pets in reported higher boosts in morale, employee happiness, and lower rates of stress.

Mental Benefits

Pets often provide a much needed source of emotional and social support. Caring for a pet offers daily structure, acts as a source of consistency and gives you the chance to care for a being that responds with unconditional love. Who doesn’t feel better after having a good cuddle with their pet?

 

Obviously the health benefits of caring for a pet don’t just save pet owners money, but employers and the entire United States healthcare system. ZippiVet offers individuals and business owners ZippiCare Wellness plans, a pet wellness program that keeps your pets happy and healthy and in turn keeps you or your employees happy and healthy, saving majorly on healthcare costs across the board.

ZippiCare Wellness provides year round pet care ranging from annual check ups to diagnostics, dental care, and parasite control. Instead of paying for surprise costs and preventative care out of pocket, ZippiCare offers comprehensive pet care at the low cost of only $40 a month (plus a $50 one time enrollment fee). Learn more about ZippiCare for you or your business. Come be a part of one of the must trusted animal hospital’s in Austin!