MPH Blog

Posts for: May, 2012

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 25, 2012
Category: Pet Care


Summer is here!  And there’s no better way to kick off the Memorial Day celebrations than having some fun in the sun with a beach barbeque or picnic at the park.  However, before you ignite the grill and start the festivities, it is important to remember the safety of your furry companions!  ASPCA does recommend keeping your pets indoors as much as possible during outdoor parties.  However, if your pet insists on joining you out and about this Memorial weekend, we have provided some safety tips to ensure the day is fun for both pets and people!  

Keep alcoholic beverages out of the paw's reach.  Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure your pet does not accidentally consume any wine, beer, or mixed drinks.

Avoid scraps from the grill. It is important to resist those begging eyes and stick with your pet’s normal diet.  Any table scraps, even in the smallest amounts, can result in upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions.  Certain foods, such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins can even be toxic to pets!

Only use pet-specific insect repellent and sunscreen.  It is imperative to only use products that are intended for those with four legs, such as Epi-Pet sunscreen for dogs.  Avoid human products—ingestion can result in excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and lethargy.

Supervise pets around pools, lakes, and oceans. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake (remember not all dogs are expert swimmers).  If you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have a doggie life jacket.  Also, beware of the possible chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset.  Other natural "doggie bowls," such as puddles, ponds and bay water—may contain parasites.

Use precaution around the grill. Keep your pets away from matches, citronella candles, and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.

Keep your pets hydrated. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water available.

Do not leave your pet in the car.  Have you ever sat in a car on a hot day?  Most pets can’t open doors and it only takes a few minutes for the inside of your car to get excessively hot.  Even leaving a car parked in the shade with the windows down is no guarantee that pets will be safe.  Please avoid heatstroke in your pet by never leaving them inside a car on a hot day.

Keep your pet’s identification handy.  If traveling with your pet it may be beneficial to take all identification and health records with you.  Make sure they are wearing their collars/tags at all times in case they get lost.  You may also wish to consider micro-chipping your pet to prevent such occurrences.  Remember to keep all gates and fences closed and remind your guests as well.  This will ensure that your pet does not go running into oncoming traffic or a busy intersection.

Memorial day can be quite stressful and noisy on your pet so it is important to provide him/her with a safe and quiet place to rest and get away from the crowd.  Taking these simple precautions will go a long way to ensure your holiday is a joyful occasion to remember.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 18, 2012
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Untagged


We’ve all heard the statistics…Cats that are kept exclusively indoors live on average at least two times as long as outdoor cats.  Cats are kept indoors for a number of reasons, mostly for health and safety reasons.  Being indoors minimizes their exposure to outdoor dangers (Take caution with your friendly felines, especially if living near a canyon or busy intersection--coyotes and cars can put your cat at risk).  Of course there are also the dreaded toxins and infections. 

Although the indoor environment may be safer, it may not be as interesting to a curious feline.  So how are you supposed to keep your sanity when the meow, meow, meow is not getting his/her way?  If your indoor cat becomes overweight, destructive, or aggressive, it could be due to boredom and lack of stimulation.  The following is a list of ideas to help transform (a.k.a. “catify”) your ordinary house into a cat’s entertainment arena:

  1. Find toys that mimic your cat’s play.  Making sure there is no shortage of cat toys in your home will help to enrich your cat’s environment.  Since cats tend to have different preferences when it comes to toys, you will have to pay close attention to what really motivates your cat to play.  Unfortunately, this comes as an expense to owners.  There has been many an occasion of getting the Christmas “dud” toy.  But one cat’s trash is another cat’s treasure.  Consider donating your unwanted cat toys or giving them to a friend.

Our top picks: dragonfly motion wand by Cat Quest, foraging box toy, feather wands, ping pong balls, laser pointers, and cat-nip infused toys.  There are also the more subtle toys such as a ball of yarn, shoelaces, milk caps, paper bags, boxes, and if you are a veterinary technician consider the plastic caps of syringe casings…sometimes the simpler items turn out to be the best and ones your cat will go bonkers over!

  1. Consider leaving food, treats, and toys around the house as a means of stimulating your cat’s hunting and stalking instincts.
  1. Water fountains are a good way to provide entertainment, while simultaneously coaxing your cat to stay hydrated.  Some cats become fixated on the streams of water and cannot resist the temptation to bat at the fountain!

The most popular types of pet fountains are made from ceramic or stainless steel.  The reasoning for this popularity is not only that these fountains tend to look better, but also the fact that ceramic and stainless steel are a healthier option for your pet!  They are not as susceptible to scratches like plastic is, so it lacks those tiny hiding places that you cannot clean and in which bacteria tends to thrive.  It is important (with any option) to clean the fountain frequently and change out the filters as needed.  Using bottled water may also help to keep the fountain cleaner as hard water will leave lines and water marks on it after a while (This is true with normal cat water bowls also).

  1. Bring the outdoors inside.  Consider getting a “live” Christmas tree to let your cats explore.  However, beware when walking by--those little paws are good at pouncing!  Also ensure that the garland, lights, and ornaments are high enough out of kitty's reach.  A year-round option would be to grow a patch of cat grass.  For indoor only cats especially, it is helpful to offer "kitty grass" regularly.  Simply rinse it off first, allow your cat to nibble it, and replace it when necessary. This may help prevent your kitty from chewing on inappropriate plants and household items, contains folic acid, and is a good source of fiber, helping with hairballs and digestion.

  1. Environmentally stimulating television programming or DVDs offer another option.  These programs (targeted specifically for cats) feature close-ups of small prey (birds, rodents, reptiles, and fish) and are sound intensive.  Or another option is to play a CD of music that incorporates nature sounds.

Our top picks: Catsitter DVD, The Purrfect DVD, and Animal Planet

  1. If you are a cat owner, then you know that scratching posts and cat furniture are a must!  Make sure it is tall enough for him/her to really stretch out.  Keep it in an area where your cat likes to spend time and consider having multiple posts for multiple cats.  In our cat room at Morena Pet Hospital, we choose to have a cat scratcher that conveniently fastens against a door and also have a lower cat bed option for our curious kitties' day at the vet (pictured below).

  1. Plenty of cat beds to provide a “safe” refuge.  All cats need a place to get away from it all, especially if in a busy household with dogs or multiple cats. 
  1. Carpeted wall climbs provide a great way to enrich your cat’s environment.  You can pattern them to act as a series of stepping stones, allowing your cat to get to greater heights, or you can offer the perfect comfy place to perch and survey one's domain.

  1. Screened-in porches and decks provide the perfect opportunity for indoor cats to safely experience the outdoors.  Supervised walks outdoors with a harness or cat-stroller can also provide an indoor kitty with a relatively safe outdoor experience. 

  1. Above all, it is love, attention, and active playtime that are the most essential aspects to an indoor cat’s happiness!  Take time to let your kitty know you care.  It is important that cats receive at least 15 minutes of playtime each day as well as quality bonding time.

Kittens tend to require even more time and attention.  Indoor only kittens may do better with another kitten or an adult cat as a mentor.

Have additional ideas or recommendations to keep indoor cats occupied?  Please share them with us by commenting below!


By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 18, 2012
Category: Pet Travel
Tags: Untagged


San Diego's Finest Pet-Friendly & Tail-Wagging Fun Attractions

Nowadays, humans are not the only ones enjoying parks and beaches; our furry companions are taking pleasure in visiting them as well!  San Diego has become famous for its dog beaches and trails, as well as its world class, pet-friendly shopping centers and restaurants.  Listed below are some of San Diego's most popular doggie attractions for you and your pet to enjoy.

San Diego Dog Beaches

  • San Diego Dog Beach, Ocean Beach

This is perhaps one of the most popular canine hotspots in San Diego, located at the northern end of Ocean Beach.  Here, dogs are allowed to roam off-leash at all times.   Owners should take care to pick up after their pets.

  • Fiesta Island Dog Park, Mission Bay

Much of this large, sandy island is designated leash-free for dogs.  Lots of sandy dunes to romp around in, and for those more adventurous canines, the calm bay waters provide a tempting oasis to take a quick dip to cool off!

  • North Beach Dog Run, Coronado

This fun-filled dog beach is located at the most northern point of the beach, next to the Naval Air Station.  Foot showers and free dog litter bags are at the entrance.  It is always a good idea to bring along drinking water for both you and your dog.  Free-Parking.

  • Del Mar Dog Beach, Del Mar

Ask any pet-owning Del Mar native where Dog Beach is and they will almost certainly know the location!  Located at the border of the south end of Solano Beach and the north end of Del Mar this beach is sure to provide you and your pet with a fun-filled day!

San Diego Parks and Hiking Trails

  • Cabrillo Tide Pools Trail

Cabrillo Tide Pools Trail is an easy, 0.5 mile hike into Cabrillo National Monument that will usually take about an hour to complete with your pet.  Although sometimes mistaken as not allowing pets, this trail is in fact the only area in the National Monument where dogs are allowed.  Your pup will have to remain on a leash as you take the trail to the tide pools.

  • Cowles Mountain

Pets on leashes are welcome to join you as you hike this popular San Diego mountain.  Remember to bring along water if you wish to make it to the very top.  Once you are there, be sure to enjoy the gorgeous views!

  • Balboa Park

Pets are welcome on leashes at this rather quiet and beautiful San Diego park, full of museums, outdoor events, and gorgeous gardens.  A great place to relax or throw a frisbee or two with your pet.

  • Capeheart Park

Located at the corner of Felspar and Soledad Mountain Road, this one acre park offers two fenced pens on turf areas (one for small dogs and the other for large dogs).  Both areas provide water for pets, a drinking fountain, picnic tables and benches, and a parking area.

  • Tecolote Canyon Natural Park

This canyon offers you and your pet an ideal location for some on-leash exercise as you make your way through the 6.5 miles of scenic nature trails.

  • Presidio Park, Old Town

This lovely, 50 acre park is set on a hill overlooking the city and bay, which provide some beautiful landscape views.  This is a perfect place for a walk or a picnic with your on-leash pet.

  • Grape Street Dog Park

There is tons of room for your pet to play in this designated off-leash area of this city park.  Use caution, as the area is not fenced.

  • Kearny Mesa Dog Park

Your pet will love to play off-leash at this fenced, 1-acre dog park.  Includes shade trees, chairs, and running water.

Dog-friendly Restaurants & Cafes

  • Rocky's Doggie Cafe at the San Diego Humane Society & SPCA

Doggie Cafe is an outdoor cafe open to dogs (on-leashes) and people every day of the week from 8am-3:30pm.  Reservations are required as space is limited.  This is a great place to have fun socializing with other dog lovers and their dogs while you practice teaching your dog how to be calm around exciting distractions like people, other dogs, and food!

  • Sally's on the Water Restaurant & Bar

Opt to dine outdoors and your dog can join you.  Or you may prefer to joinfor their pet friendly "yappy" hour on the lower patio, usually held on Thursdays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM offering drink and appetizer specials.

  • Trattoria La Strada

This is a good spot for an Italian meal. Dine at an outdoor table and your dog can join you.

  • McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant-Omni Hotel

If you are looking for a reliable seafood chain for a nice meal before/after a ball game, McCormick & Schmick's is your place. Dine at an outdoor table and your dog can join you.

  • Solare

Enjoy fine Italian cusisine on the lovely patio and bring your pup.  They'll even bring him/her food and water to graze on while you dine! 

  • The Wine Pub

The Wine Pub is a 21+ wine bar, restaurant, and lounge in Point Loma, San Diego near Shelter Island.  Stop by on Woofer Wednesday; if you dine with your dog, they will donate 10% of your bill to Barking Lot.

Dog-friendly Hotels

  • Travelodge Mission Valley at Hotel Circle

Travelodge San Diego Mission Valley is pet friendly! One dog (15 lbs or less) is welcome for no additional fee.  Please note there are a limited number of pet friendly rooms available.

  • La Quinta Inn San Diego Mission Valley

La Quinta Inn has two pet-friendly locations:  Mission Valley and Old Town.  Up to two pets under 25 lbs. are allowed in each room for no additional fee or deposit.

  • Residence Inn by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Residence Inn in Mission Valley offers pet friendly accomodations.  Pets are welcome for an additional $125 one-time fee. There is no size restriction or limit on the number of pets per room.

  • Extended Stay America San Diego at Mission Valley

For those looking for a more extended stay here in San Diego, the Mission Valley location is pet friendly! One 25 lb. pet is welcome for an additional $25/ night fee (Maximum $75 per stay.) More than one pet may be permitted upon a manager's approval.

Campgrounds & RV Resorts

  • San Diego RV Resort

Dogs are allowed at San Diego RV Resort, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Pet waste bags are supplied and there are several nice walking areas for your pet's enjoyment. There is a 2 pet limit per site and aggressive breeds are not allowed. Other restrictions may apply.

  • Campland on the Bay

Dogs are allowed at Campland On the Bay, but must stay within the designated dog walk areas.  Dogs are restricted on the beach, in the cafe, game room, restrooms, laundry, market or any grassy area. Dogs must be on leash at all times and may not be left unattended outside of an RV or tent.  Aggressive breeds are prohibited.

Pet-Friendly Getaways

  • Pine Haven Cabin Rental

Ask about their VIP (very important pet) Treatment consisting of 1.25 acres of fenced-in playground with a basket of toys to play with, a welcome treat, and their very own dining table and water table.

  • Cienaga Creek Ranch

Cienaga Creek Ranch is the perfect pet friendly Big Bear vacation getaway.  Hike leash-free with your pet from the door of your private luxury cabin on the unlimited trails on and around our ranch.

For a more-detailed list of pet-friendly locations, please visit

Have a favorite San Diego hotspot you and your dog like to visit?  Please comment below!

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 11, 2012
Category: Pet events
Tags: Untagged

Thank you to all who came out and participated in the Humane Society's 18th Annual Walk for Animals!  Here are some of the great photo memories taken throughout the day!

For additional photos, please visit our Facebook photo album at

By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
May 04, 2012
Category: Pet Care
Tags: Untagged


We understand that finding the time to pick up your pet's medication can be difficult. In an effort to make it easier for our clients to take optimal care of their pets, we have partnered with MWI Veterinary Supply to bring you a home delivery pharmacy option, offering safe and reliable delivery of your pet's medication to your door!  What better way to order your pet's medication than from someone who knows your pet!

There are numerous advantages of ProxyRx, including:

Convenience: We do the work for you! Once you request the medicaiton, we'll do all of the legwork for you. The prescription will be delivered to your door in a few days.

Confidence: MWI is a major distributor of medication and supplies to veterinarians nationwide. When you order using Proxy Rx, the medication comes directly from the MWI warehouse. The product is legal, in the original FDA packaging and carries all of the manufacturer's guarantees.

Wide Variety: Because we work with MWI's massive inventory, we can now fulfill prescriptions that we do not normally carry in-hospital.  This is perfect for Royal Canin Veterinary Diets, heartworm medication, flea products, etc.

Cost Effective: We strive to keep our Proxy Rx prices competitive with major online retailers.

How it Works:
Taking advantage of Proxy Rx is simple; just call us and request your prescription. Our client care specialists will confirm your address and take a credit card right over the phone. Once our veterinarians approve the prescription, we will fax the order to MWI, and your presciption will be delivered to your home in 2-3 business days.