Tag Archives: vet

Tips For Finding The Right Vet For Your Pet

Tips For Finding The Right Vet For Your PetWhile most veterinarians have chosen to be in this business because they love pets, this isn’t the only thing you need to consider when choosing who to take your best friend to. There are a few other things that are equally as important since you want the best doctor for your fur baby.

Know What You Need

There are bound to be some things that you consider important. These can include:

  • Specializations – typically only necessary when breeding or having a pet who has a specific health condition
  • Writing prescriptions for you to buy your heartworm medication online – something some vets won’t do even though it’ll typically cost you twice as much to buy your medication from them
  • Someone who handles their own emergencies – While rare, some still offer evening and weekend appointments

Start by Asking Other pet Owners

Word of mouth really is the best way to find a great veterinarian. Talk to other pet owners about who they take their pets to and what they think of these clinics. Make sure that they’re satisfied and not searching for somewhere new themselves. You’ll also want to know how the veterinarian treats their pet while in their care.

Check Them out for Yourself

Once you have a list, call their office and speak with their receptionist. You can then narrow your choices down so that you only have a few to go speak to in person. Now is the time when you’ll want to discuss several things with them before making an appointment for your pet to be seen there. These things include:

  • Billing: Since veterinary care can be quite expensive, you’ll need to know what their payment policy is and whether you must pay for everything up front. Being able to make payments without worrying that they’ll turn your dog away at a time when they’re in need will give you peace of mind when that time comes.
  • Office hours: Make sure you know what times and days they hold office hours. This is important because you need the veterinarian to fit your schedule. If they’re closed on Saturday or only open half a day then and aren’t open late throughout the week, then they may not be right for you even if they’re the best clinic in the greatest location.
  • Accreditation: Whomever you choose to take your pet to should be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This is something that the AVMA themselves maintain a listing of. Make sure you take some time to check this out so that you know that your pet will be getting the top notch care they deserve.


Now that you know what to look for in a veterinarian, you may feel like it’s difficult to find someone who would fit your needs well. Fortunately, this isn’t true at all. The Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center has provided many pet owners with great peace of mind over the years. Contact them so they can do this for you as well.

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Travel Tips For You And Your Pets

Travel Tips For You And Your PetsTraveling with pets make things like temperature control and insulation important considerations. This is especially true if your trip will last for a few weeks or longer. While dogs are the top choice for travel companions, some people are now choosing to have their cat, bird, snake, and even lizard travel with them. While it’s a good idea to avoid extended travel with any animal, some people are even living in an RV with them today.

What to do Before Traveling with Your Pet

Regardless of what type of pet you have, there are certain things you should do before you hit the road. Some of the most important things that you should never overlook include:

  • Carry an international statement of health for your pet which includes their up-to-date rabies vaccination. When you’re crossing the border in either Mexico or Canada, you’ll need a U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit for your pet. These last for three years.
  • Make sure you have fleas and ticks under control.
  • Obtain both an ID tag and a microchip for your pet.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your RV.
  • You should familiarize yourself with any breed restrictions that the campgrounds you plan to visit have in place. Some of these campgrounds will also require certificates of veterinary inspection.
  • Just like you would never leave your pet in a car by themselves, you should never leave them in an RV unattended either. If you must leave them alone in your RV, make sure you have an automated climate control system in place.

Special Tips for Special Animals

Some of the best tips for traveling with pets will depend on what type of animal you’re traveling with.

If you plan to travel with dogs, make sure they’re well-behaved and cooperative, especially in social situations. When you arrive at a campground make sure they have enough time to explore their new surroundings so they aren’t anxious.

Cats also require some special care while you’re traveling. For instance, you must remember to bring kitty litter for their litter box and plenty of hiding spots from which they can get a good view of everything around them – both inside and outside. You should also confine your cat to a kennel or bathroom while driving so they don’t accidentally get under your feet.

Hitting the Road with Your Pet

As you’re loading up your vehicle or RV, make sure your pet is in a secure location. While the best place for them to stay is at a kennel or with some friends, keeping them in their crate or a room with a closed door is also an option. The goal here is to keep them from being stepped on, becoming stressed, or getting lost with all the chaos that’s going on around them. Before you leave you should also stop by the Tampa Bay Veterinary Service to have them checked by one of their vets. Having a healthy pet is the best way to make sure everyone enjoys the trip so schedule your appointment today.

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What To Look For In A New Vet

What To Look For In A New VetAny pet owner will tell you that one of their top priorities, when they move, is to find a new veterinary service. Unfortunately, when it comes to how to find a vet it can be somewhat challenging. There are a few things you should keep in mind throughout this process though.

 What to Expect

 Some of the things you’ll want to look for during your search include:

  • Location: Since some pets become stressed by car rides, you’ll want to find a veterinary service near your home.
  • Hours of Operation: Pets tend to get sick at the most inconvenient times so make sure your vet offers evening and weekend hours. Also, make sure they have a plan in place for emergency care.
  • Staff: Look for at least two nurses for every vet who’s working when you’re there so your pet gets the attention they deserve.
  • Credentials: AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accreditation shows they have very high standards. Beyond that, it’s also important to know how long your vet has been in practice if they have any board memberships, and where they went to school.

 Added Benefits

 There are also some things that you should remember when you’re concerned with how to find a vet. The following things are nice to have:

  • Referrals: When you need to know how to find a vet, one of the best things you can look for are referrals from friends, family, and colleagues. This is a powerful, reliable way to find a new veterinary service.
  • Drop by and gather some first impressions: Make sure it’s easy to work with their front desk staff. They should be friendly and quick to act on your pet’s behalf (e.g. offering to send for records).
  • Learn about the vet’s manners and methods: They should have a good bedside manner that makes both you and your pet feel comfortable. Each time you see them they should undertake a complete evaluation of your pet including looking at their eyes, ears, and mouth; palpating their whole body including their lymph nodes and abdomen; and conduct a rectal exam to check their anal glands and for masses.
  • Learn how standard treatments are offered: Vaccinations, flea control, and heartworm prevention should all be addressed on your pet’s first visit. This should follow a discussion about your pet’s lifestyle and if they’re exposed to certain diseases. While rabies vaccinations are required by law, your vet can work with you regarding your pet’s distemper, parvovirus, and kennel cough vaccines to meet their specific needs. Your vet may even suggest a blood test because sometimes these shots aren’t even necessary. On the other hand, heartworm is a very serious disease although it isn’t present throughout all parts of the world so it may not be necessary to take this preventative measure.


 For those of you living in Tampa Bay, Florida, the search is easy. The Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center is located right in your neighborhood. Over the years this veterinary service has helped many pet owners. They look forward to serving you as well so make sure you give them a call today.

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Why Tampa Is Third In The U.S.A. For Pet Friendliness

Why Tampa Is Third In The U.S.A. For Pet FriendlinessAccording to Wallet Hub’s list of 2019’s Most Pet Friendly Cities, Tampa, FL loves their dogs. This personal finance website took the time to create a list of the 100 largest cities based on a set of 24 key metrics they devised. Within this list Tampa ranked third in terms of pet friendliness while St. Petersburg, FL ranked thirty-sixth. The only two areas that topped Tampa in this metric were Scottsdale, AZ (coming in first place) and Orlando, FL (coming in first place).

Why This Study was Conducted

This study was conducted in advance of National Homeless Animals Day, which was held on August 17. It understood that pet friendliness in America is rampant with over 85 million homes owning pets and spending about $75 billion per year on them. Based on this information, Wallet Hub wanted to learn where these animals enjoyed the highest quality of life without spending a whole lot of money to do so. As such, Wallet Hub looked at things like walkability, how much it cost to visit pat-related businesses, and what pet care providers were charging.

What This Study Discovered

Wallet Hub’s discoveries in terms of pet friendliness are interesting, even if you’re not a pet owner. They discovered that:

  • Stockton, CA has the lowest per visit cost for vets ($37.08) while Plano, TX charges twice the amount ($84.24).
  • Newark, NJ has the fewest vets per square foot of population (0.0038) while Miami, FL has 88.9 times the number (0.3380).
  • St. Paul, MN has the lowest monthly fee for dog insurance premiums ($34.84) while San Francisco, CA charges 2.5 times more ($88.76).
  • Newark, NJ has the fewest pet businesses per square foot of population (0.0395) while San Francisco, CA has 21.4 times as man (0.8445).

Where Tampa Bay, FL Ranks

Tampa Bay is known for its pet friendliness, beating out St. Petersburg, FL when it comes to the cost of owning a pet (e.g. vet care, dog insurance premiums). Here Tampa ranked tenth while St. Petersburg ranked forty-sixth. Tampa also ranked higher when it came to having things like more dogs per capita, dog-friendly trails, and dog shows.

This has surprised some people because St. Petersburg won the 2019 Better Cities for Pets award for its pet friendliness. They also received a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors based on this merit. Nevertheless, it still ranks significantly lower than bot Tampa and Orlando. Wallet Hub says that this lower ranking is primarily due to St. Petersburg’s lower pet health and wellness score – something that took into account the number of vets, pet caretakers, trainers, businesses, daycare, boarding, and meetup groups, as well as the number of dog-friendly restaurants, hotels, and shops. In this regard, Tampa ranked 17 while St. Petersburg came in fifty-sixth place.

As a pet owner you should know that you’re in good hands living in Tampa if your fur baby ever needs to see a vet. Simply reach out to the Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center and you’ll receive top notch care.

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Keeping Your Pets Safe In The Hot Weather

Keeping Your Pets Safe In The Hot WeatherSummertime sunshine can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite dangerous for our pets. This is why you should always remember some important pets’ tips when you’re headed outside with them.

Never Leave Your Pet by Themselves in Your Vehicle

Although we’ve all been warned about it, there are still many pets who die every year because their owner has left them alone inside of a parked vehicle that then overheats. It only takes a short amount of time for your car to become really stifling, hot, and deadly. In fact, Dr. Ernie Ward discovered that it only takes 30 minutes for your car can easily reach a temperature of 117 degrees even if your windows are cracked.

Remain Vigilant Regarding Vet Care

Before the summer heat kicks in, you should make an appointment with your vet to get your pet a full checkup. This should include a heartworm test. You should also discuss a flea and tick protection plan with your vet. While these are issues that affect your pet throughout the year, your pet is spending more time outdoors in the summer so you need to watch them closer.

Don’t Walk Your Dog When it’s hot Outside

Take your dog for a walk in the morning before the sun comes up or at night after it goes down. Regardless, you should still watch for any issues that may arise including frantic panting and glassy eyes. When your pet exhibits either of these symptoms you should get them to a vet immediately. Additional pets’ tips to remember here is ensuring your pet has plenty of shade and water available to them while you are outdoors together.

Keep Your Home Cool

Sometimes it’s difficult to cool your home. You may even be tempted to turn your AC off when you depart for the day. However, you must remember that this is dangerous for your pet. Instead, leave your air conditioner on about 76°F when you’re not home. A couple other important pets’ tips that often get overlooked here are making sure your curtains are closed and your pet has plenty of fresh water available to them while you’re gone.

Understanding Your Dog’s Breed

There are some dogs who aren’t able to tolerate the heat as well as others. This is especially true of short-nosed dogs like Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs, and Shih Tzu’s. However, there are also some stages in life when dogs are more intolerant of the heat as well. This includes those dogs who are elderly and have health issues. Of course, it’s important to watch your dog when they’re outside in the summertime regardless of their age, breed, or health.


Remember, your pet relies upon you to keep them safe and comfortable throughout the year. A good rule of thumb to live by in the summer is when you’re hot, simply assume that your pet is hot too. Of course, this may not always keep your pet safe and when an accident does arise make sure you have the number for Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center nearby.

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Keeping Your Dogs Safe In And Around Water

Keeping Your Dogs Safe In And Around WaterMany people think that dogs were born to swim, but they honestly don’t know how to swim. Instead, they instinctively tread water (doggy paddle) when they fall in, which is different from knowing how to swim. Once you understand this, you’ll see why it’s so important for you to take the time to properly introduce your dog to the water.

How to Introduce Your dog to the Water

Before you introduce your dog to the water you must first make sure that they have good, solid obedience training. This is important because if your dog is going to disobey you on land, they’ll disobey you when around a body of water. When this happens it’s even more dangerous than if you weren’t around a pool, lake, or an ocean. Once you have the obedience training down, you’ll be ready to introduce your dog to the water. There are a few things you’ll want to remember when doing so, including:

  • You should never simply throw your dog into any body of water.
  • You should never leave your dog unattended around any body of water. If you own a pool in the back of your home, make sure that you place a fence around it so your dog won’t have access when you’re not around. It’s also important that you show him how to get in and out of the pool correctly – by using the pool’s steps. This is something that you should practice with him until you’re sure that he understands where to exit the pool if he does accidentally fall in sometime.
  • Remember how tired you get when you go swimming. Dogs feel the same way. This is important to remember because once your dog is tired, he’s more susceptible of becoming a victim of drowning. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you have your dog get out of the water occasionally so he can get some rest.
  • Buy your dog a life vest so he’ll have some help swimming in case he grows too tired to do it himself.
  • Make sure you take a dog CPR class so that if an accident does occur around the water, you’re prepared to take proper pet health steps.

How to Protect Your dog From Drowning

Besides keeping your dog away from the water when he’s unattended and buying him a doggy life vest, make sure that you also know your dog well before you go by the water. There are some dogs who are simply better suited for the water. These are the breeds that have a short snout. On the other hand, dogs like the pug, Boston Terrier, and English bulldog aren’t equipped to go swimming so you should leave them on the shore.

A few Other Tips for pet Health Around Water

Now that you and your dog are prepared to have some water fun, here are a few additional pet health tips to remember:

  • Never let your dog drink water from lakes or rivers because there’s parasites and algae in them.
  • Don’t let your dog drink swimming pool water because it contains chlorine.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t drink ocean water as it has too much salt in it.
  • Always rinse your dog off after swimming and dry off their ears too so they don’t get infected.

If you have any questions about this or anything else to do with pet health, make sure you contact Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center.

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Tips for Training Cats to Walk on Leashes

Tips for Training Cats to Walk on LeashesWhen you put a cat leash on your beloved pet, you’re bound to see their inner tiger emerge. Of course, there are a few cats who are adventurous enough to let you try this with them. Unfortunately, this is something you won’t know until you try.

Why Train Your pet to Walk on a cat Leash

Both you and your cat will benefit from him walking on a leash. He will enjoy a stimulating experience that will enrich his life. You will get to enjoy taking him on walks and getting exercise with him. Together the two of you will have a great bonding experience too.

Tips for  on a cat Leash

While this is something you can do with your cat at any age, the sooner, the better. Of course, you will need to be patient. Here are a few other tips that will help you as well:

  • Find the right harness. You want one that’ll securely wrap around your cat and stay snugly (not tightly) in place. This is why you should measure the front of his chest, middle, and behind his front legs. Don’t use a collar because this could harm his windpipe.
  • While you’re at home, slowly introduce your cat to the leash. Don’t rush to put it on him. Let him sniff and play with it. Once you do get it on him, let him move around the house and get comfortable wearing it. Make sure he can’t wiggle his way out of his harness though.
  • Don’t attach the leash to the harness right away – give your cat time to adapt. Once you do finally attach it, walk your cat around the house so he gets comfortable. Make sure you give him plenty of treats and ear scratches while doing all these things.
  • Choose a good location for your cat’s first outdoor adventure with you – somewhere safe and semi-private so he feels relaxed, secure, and confident.
  • Always take a towel with you so if something goes wrong you can quickly wrap him up and get him safely back inside.

What Happens When Leash Training Doesn’t Work

If you notice that your cat doesn’t enjoy walking on his leash with you, it may be that you need to slow down and use more incentives. While it may simply take your cat a little more time to adapt to a leash, there are some cats who never will adapt. For these cats you may enjoy being outside with them in a cat tent or a stroller instead.

Successfully Walking Your pet on a cat Leash

Now that you know how to get your pet to walk on a cat leash, you’ll want to have a vet who is available when you need them. This is why so many clients highly recommend Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center. While you and your cat shouldn’t experience any problems with the adventures you undertake, it’s always nice to know that they’ll be there if you do need them.

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Tips Every New Cat Parent Needs

Tips Every New Cat Parent NeedsBringing home a new pet cat is an exciting time for your family, but it’s also a stressful time for your new feline friend. Since you want to make this time easier on everyone who’s involved, you’ll want to keep some tips in mind.

Buy Your Cat Everything They Need Before Taking Them Home

Before you start looking around at cats, there are some things your new pet will need. We highly recommend getting these things before bringing them home. They include:

  • A scratching is important if you don’t want your couch shredded.
  • Cat furniture
  • Food is just as important to your cat as it is to you and your family so you’ll want to make sure it’s healthy. Make sure you choose high-quality food that contains plenty of protein, amino acids, fats, and minerals. It should also be appropriate for their age, energy level, and if they have any special needs. Use this same knowledge in choosing a good treat to occasionally give to them.
  • Beds are important because your cat will sleep 16 – 18 hours a day.
  • A litter box, scoop, and mat for each individual cat is necessary even though they’ll end up sharing litter boxes anyway. You should also get stain and odor remover for when your cat has an accident.

Meeting Your Family

You’ll want to have a pleasant and calm homecoming. Make sure any children in your home understand the importance of treating your new family member gently. There are also some other important safety tips to keep in mind, including:

  • When introducing different pets to each other, go slow and make sure you give them all equal attention. Consider keeping one crated when you’re unavailable to supervise.
  • Make sure that anything that’s breakable is stowed away so your new pet won’t knock it over. Any wires, window cords, or full-length curtains that can entangle your new friend should also be taken care of properly.
  • There are some plants in your home that could also be harmful. Relocate them either to someplace your cat can’t get them. This is also true of chemicals like cleaning supplies.
  • Since your cat will sleep so much, you should move his bed throughout your home to encourage him to move about and explore their environment a bit. If your cat doesn’t do this on his own, consider infusing his bed with some catnip.
  • Consider buying a book that will help you understand what your feline’s behavior means so you can better take care of them.

Since different pets react differently, just like different people do, you need to be prepared for anything to happen.

Finding a Vet

It’s also a good idea to find a vet before bringing your new feline friend home. If you live in Tampa Bay, Florida you should contact us here at Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center. We’d be happy to give them their first wellness visit so you can put your mind at ease and start enjoying your new friendship.

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How to Care for Your Senior Cat

How to Care for Your Senior CatWhen you adopt a kitten the last thing you think about is them becoming a senior cat, but it will eventually happen. As that time draws near, it’s important for you to be ready to take care of them. There are a few special ways you can do so.

Watch for Changes in Your Cat’s Habits

Cats do a great job of hiding the fact that they’re sick. Since signs are subtle and easy to miss, any difference in behavior (e.g. sleeping more, hiding) is something you should mention to your veterinarian since you know your cat best.

Watch for Changes in Weight

It’s challenging to notice a gradual change in your cat’s weight. However, when you notice either weight gain or an unplanned weight loss you should tell your veterinarian. A gain could result in a chronic disease that shortens your cat’s life span. On the other hand, a weight loss typically means there’s something wrong such as hyperthyroidism, intestinal disease, or diabetes.

Watch Their Litter Box

There’s a lot that your cat’s litter box can tell you about. Since you should be scooping the litter box more frequently to keep up with your cat’s increased urine output, these are things you should be able to easily notice and bring to the attention of your veterinarian.

Missing the litter box or having accidents around the house could be a sign that there’s an underlying medical issue. These could include:

  • Difficulty getting into the litter box due to muscle weakness
  • The litter box being in a “bad” place (e.g. having to traverse stairs)
  • Being frightened by too much noise or by other pets may cause your elderly cat not to use the litter box if it’s not in a secluded location
  • Your cat’s paws change as they grow older so you’ll want to make sure that the litter you use is gentle on them

Besides missing the litter box, your elderly cat may also suffer from:

  • Increased urine output is often a sign of urinary infections, but it could be a sign of diabetes, an over active thyroid gland, kidney disease, or high blood pressure
  • Constipation or not defecating daily due to dehydration
  • Stools that are softer, harder, or a different color

Watch how Much Your cat is Eating

It can be challenging to know how much your cat is eating if you have multiple cats in your home. However, you need to know if your elderly cat is eating less than normal so your veterinarian can intervene if there’s an issue. This could be a sign of a chronic disease, which if caught early enough could be easily treated.

Understand They’re Doing More Than “Slowing Down”

With age comes things like arthritis and degenerative joint disease – things your veterinarian will notice, but you may not. This is why you should develop a close relationship with Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center. Routine visits coupled with both mental and physical stimulation while at home will help your cat enjoy the remainder of their lives with you.

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How Music Affects Your Dog

Different Types of Music Affect a Dog's BehaviorMusic has a powerful effect on people – providing us with adrenaline, relaxation, and a boost to our mood. Research shows music also helps people with Parkinson’s disease and those who have suffered from a stroke. All of this is because music stimulates lost neurological deficits. Since dogs have much better hearing than humans, it should come as no surprise that music has a power effect on your pets too.

How Different Genres Impact Your Dog

For quite some time people have known that classical music has a positive effect on pets – calming and soothing them by lowering their heart rate. However, this isn’t the only genre that positively affects them. Researchers believe that reggae and soft rock can be more calming than classical music. They also found that rock made them feel more anxious and agitated because it accelerated their body’s symptoms of nervousness (e.g. shaking). The one genre that seemingly has very little impact on our pets is pop music.

This is probably because pets have an uncanny ability to determine pitch and tone in songs. Of course, we’ve seen this throughout history since most influential artists have their dogs to thank for some of their best work. For instance, Richard Wilhelm Wagner’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Peps would respond differently to the various melodies he’d play in different keys. This is what led to the concept of matching music to emotions. Then there was Dr. George Robinson Sinclair, the organist at Hereford Cathedral in London. He had a Bulldog named Dan who kept his choir participants in tune by growling at them when they sang out of tune.

How we can use Music to Help our Pets

Pets can’t only help us with music, but we can help them too. Playing music is an effective way to calm them during stressful situations like fireworks or traveling in a vehicle. Some trainers are even playing classical music during training sessions to help them concentrate better. This is because music truly does have a powerful effect on your dog thanks to his advanced hearing anatomy and inherited traits that have led him to have an essential connection to music.

When you don’t know what type of music to play for your dog, simply look at what researchers have discovered. There are even veterinary neurologists like Susan Wagner who have developed albums specifically for our pets today. One of the most popular dog music albums is “Through a Dog’s Ear” by Lisa Spector. Consider playing these when you think your dog may need them.

Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center encourages this link between our pets and the music we play, saying it’s important to use music to help your pets ease their stress. This is just one of the many holistic health treatments they recommend as these treatments are better for your dog. Now that you can see how much they truly do care about your dog, get in touch with them the next time you’re in search of a vet.

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