Tampa Bay’s humidity, hot temperatures and local inhabitants bring their own special challenges when it comes to maintaining your pet’s health. These area destinations can deliver health and happiness just the way Tampa’s vets ordered.

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Mind the Florida Heat
BluePearl Veterinary Partners
3000 Busch Lake Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33614
(813) 933-8944

Hours: 24/7 emergency services

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are year-round potential problems in Tampa’s steamy climate. It’s crucial that dogs have frequent access to shade and water when it’s hot out, whether they’re in a backyard or on a walk. For heat-related health problems or any emergency, BluePearl’s 24-hour emergency hospital focuses on both specialty and emergency medicine for pets. This facility also offers an innovative rehabilitation medicine program, at which staff work with you to create an at-home exercise program customized for your pet. BluePearl’s website also offers some great educational resources on pet health and a symptom-checker for reference.

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Use Year-Round Heartworm Prevention and Flea/Tick Control
Tampa Veterinary Hospital
2517 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 254-3031

Hours: Mon – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tues to Thurs – 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat – 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sun

Canine heartworm is a killing disease and treating it can be difficult, not to mention expensive. To prevent it, your dog must be on a monthly heartworm prevention regime all year long. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, which are prevalent in Tampa. Another Florida menace is fleas, which not only itch, but can also carry tapeworms (an intestinal parasite your dog gets by eating fleas). When using heartworm preventatives and flea and tick control products, all are not created equal. Check in with Dr. Melissa Webster at Tampa Veterinary Hospital. She and other staff members can help you select the right product for your pet and instruct you on proper use.

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Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
Groovy Cats & Dogs Inc.
10213 Lake Carroll Way, Suite B
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 265-1333

Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention study, roughly 55 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. Vets attest that diet-related problems rank among one of the most common reasons for vet visits each year. Problems like too many calories and poor-quality diets have resulted in increases in pet diabetes and osteoarthritis. Groovy Cats & Dogs markets a variety of holistically based foods for pets and works to educate its customers about how good nutrition plays a vital role in pets’ wellness.

Related: Tampa Bay’s Best Dog Beaches and Parks

Visit Your Veterinarian Regularly
Temple Terrace Animal & Bird Hospital
5023 E. Busch Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33617
(813) 988-1189

Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sun

Keep that canine vigor with annual, whole-body physical exam. Regular exams help detect diseases early and prevent illness, revealing problems owners miss too easily. Temple Terrace Animal & Bird Hospital is a 50-year-strong veterinary facility in north Tampa. Link Welborn, a recipient of the American Animal Hospital Association practitioner of the year award, and his staff are on hand to provide full-service medical, surgical and dental treatment. The practice also offers acupuncture and herbal medicine as well as behavioral training.

Related: Best Dog-Friendly Brunches in Redington Beach

Be Aware of Tampa Bay’s Unique Threats
Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Services
238 E. Bearss Ave.
Tampa, FL 33613
(813) 265-4043

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.; Sat and Sun – 24/7 emergency service

From poisonous snakes and Bofu toads to hawks and gators, other wildlife mean Tampa Bay sees some of the more bizarre animal emergency room visits. It’s important to be aware of the risks that local wildlife can pose to dogs. Always keep your dog near and be vigilant about dangers. Be especially careful with small dogs when near water or when hiking or running with your dog through wooded trails. If your dog is bitten by a snake or if you think it came into contact with a toad, seek emergency treatment immediately. Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Services is fully equipped with an in-house laboratory and features an oxygen chamber and special incubators for exotic and neonatal patients. Its surgical suite is well-prepared for urgent and emergency procedures, and staff focuses on state-of-the-art training so it can provide the most up to date care for your pet.

Kim Tobin enjoys breathing deeply whenever she can carve out a few seconds between writing and parenting twin 6-year-olds, a 9-year-old and a rescued German Shepherd mix who thinks he’s a dingo. Always on the lookout for the next best way to exhaust them all (while disguising it as fun), she has also served as the Tampa Fitness Examiner since 2009. See her work here.