Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AAHA and Partners For Healthy Pets

   Today, I am sharing more information from the 2014 Blogpaws conference.  I was lucky to meet representatives from Partners For Healthy Pets and AAHA.  Both of these organizations are ready to become a partner for you and your healthy pet.
   All pet parents know that they need a veterinarian they can trust.  Your vet should be
"I don't always have to visit my vet, but when I do
I give Mom this Sad Basset look."
considered one of your family doctors.  You need to have your pet’s vet chosen before you bring your new best friend home.  If you are starting with a new puppy, there will be several visits for your little one’s shots.  The question is; how do you choose the best animal care provider for your family.  If you look up the listings in your city, it might be overwhelming.  Don’t just select one at random, do some homework.
   One great resource is Partners For Healthy Pets, a committee of the non-profit American Veterinary Medical
Foundation.  Their mission is to ensure our pets get the preventative healthcare they deserve by regular visits to their veterinarian.  Among their supporters are the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  The Partners For Healthy Pets website gives you a wealth of information.  Dogs are good at hiding their discomfort.  As a pack animal, showing weakness or injury is dangerous.  This results in many illnesses already being in later stages before the pet parent notices the severity of a problem.
   If you visit the Partners For Healthy Pets, you will find a list of vets in your area that have been accredited by AAHA.  I was stunned to realize that not all vets choose to claim this accreditation.  Those that do, proudly display it on their advertisements.  It signifies the doctor has a vast bank of knowledge and cutting-edge science.  They have also been evaluated on over 900 standard practices.  There are only four such pet clinics in my city and we have A LOT of veterinarian clinics.  That was equally stunning.
   The site also provides important questions to ask your pet’s doctor according to their age bracket.  Here are some examples:
Puppy (0 to 12 months) ~ When should I have my puppy spayed/neutered?  What, how much, and when should I feed him?  When should I start brushing their teeth?
Junior (13 months to 2 years) ~ Does my pet need a fecal exam?  What should he/she weigh?  What’s the best way to prevent parasites?
Adult (3 to 6 years)  Is my dog at the right weight?  Is it time for a dental cleaning?  Are there things that I can do to keep my pet even healthier?
Mature (7 to 10 years)  Should I change my pet’s diet?  What signs of aging should I look for?  What vaccinations does my dog need?
Senior (11 years +)  Are there things to do to keep my pet in better shape?  Does my dog need any special blood tests?  Should I change or supplement my dog’s diet?
   What are all those weird tests and exams your vet performs during an annual visit? 
Many things need to be checked during a visit.  When checking your dog’s mouth, the doctor is checking gums, teeth, and bad breath.  Any sign of swelling, bleeding, or foul odor could be an indication of a problem.  Next, it’s on to the ears and eyes’ to make sure they have clear vision and hearing.  As hands are run along your dog’s body including stomach and shoulders, it is to feel any lumps, enlarged organs or lymph nodes, and muscle tone.  If the animal flinches or reacts in pain, this is a red flag to the vet.  A feel of the fur and under the tail are important to check for bug bites, infections, or anal gland issues.  I always wish our dog’s doctor would put on his stethoscope and ask Bentley to take a deep breath and hold it.  It’d just be funny.  Lastly, it is time for a stool sample.  If you are asked to bring in a sample, only a small amount is required.  You can read about collecting a sample here on My Brown Newfies.  
   One thing that I have learned about human and pet doctors is this, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, you are in the wrong office.  To ensure that your new pet lives its life to the fullest, it is a team effort.  That team consists of your dog, your family, and your veterinarian.  Your vet should be the MVP, Most Valuable Partner.
**Resources for this article: Partners For Healthy Pets http://healthypetcheckup.org/

   If you are interested in adding a great puppy or older dog to your family, please consider adopting from your local shelter.  Shelter dogs make amazing forever friends.  Today’s adoptable dog is my favorite breed; it is a Basset Hound named Duke!  Isn’t he adorable?  Please share him on your social media and let’s get this guy a home!  You can contact PetSavers at (318) 636-0400.


We are joining Dogs N’ Pawz and Talking Dogs for the weekly Tuesday’s Tails blog hop.  Please visit these other blogs to see more adoptable dogs and cats.  Sharing is caring when it comes to homeless pets.


  1. The first clinic I worked at was AAHA accredited. It was a small practice and my favorite of the 2. The 2nd one, which we merged with, I guess chose not to become accredited for whatever reason. Although, they definitely had more cutting edge scientific stuff and equipment and tools for sure.

  2. Luckily our vet is on the top of our road and they are fine. We so hope sweet Duke finds a forever home really soon. Our paws are crossed for him.Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. That's an interesting site, it's great to find the best treatment what fits to the age of your dog. I will cross my paws for Duke, he really looks like a Duke and he deserves a wonderful home with tons of love.

  4. What a great post! Plus Duke is such a cutie. Sharing.

  5. Good luck Duke we do hope you find a wonderful home:) What a great post ..we have a brilliant vet ..before we moved (3hours from where we lived before) the search was on..i spoke to al vets in our area and quizzed them on hours of opening after hours facilities any lab works done on premises house calls live stock calls (we have pet sheep and many vets don't do livestock) and on and on...the vets we chose are brilliant..the fact I grilled them so long on the phone and they were happy to talk was a great sign! we have senior pets and special needs pets and saying goodbye to our family vet and trusting a new one was hard..Dr Rayyz is amazing..has a blog and FB page and is world famous...funny she's just our vet and yet people overseas are always amazed we live down the road! Last vet visit was a few months back on a Saturday.jyst n closing when I rang with Forrest versus Eastern Brown snake bite...straight in antivene and he is alive and snoring in the lounge as type...excellent vets are always top priority :) hugs Fozziemum xx

  6. Duke is just gorgeous! I will share your post!
    Great info about pet health too, I will have to head over and check it out!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  7. I hope Duke. finds a loving home soon, sharing.


  8. Great post with lots of useful info. Our vet is retiring and we are so bummed out we have to find another. Someone has bought the practice but our first visit didn't go well so I think we are in the market, but it's just never easy to find a new doctor whether a vet or family practicioner.
    Duke is so adorable ... love the face. Hope he finds a wonderful home soon!

  9. Great information, thanks so much for sharing it and Duke(we hope he finds his furr-ever home soon!)
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  10. Duke is a cutie! Paws crossed he finds a home soon. Sharing.

  11. We learned a lot about good/bad vets in Germany. It took us a couple years and many vets before we found the right place here in the US, but we couldn't be happier. It really gives Mom piece of mind knowing she can trust our vets. They are super nice, but I am still terrified every time I have to go there. I usually shake like a leaf and sit on Mom's lap like a tiny baby dog.

  12. Duke looks wonderful. Hope he will find a forever home soon. Sniff from Laika and Vaks.

  13. Your statement "if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, you are in the wrong office." is so true. Great post. I hope Duke finds a home soon.

  14. That was such a terrific bunch of information and the right Vet is so important. I hope that handsome Duke gets to go home soon.

  15. Awesome checklist!!!! The right vet is so so important and the people that work for them! :)

  16. Great informational piece. AAHA has a lot of great information. Thanks for sharing and how nice of you to visit with them at the conference.

  17. PAWsome information for pet parent. We are very proud of our vet being AAHA. Golden Woofs


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