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Summer Heat – Keeping Your Pets Safe This Season!

Most of the United States will suffer from at least a few days of seemingly unbearable summer heat at some point this season. Whether your fortunate enough to only endure a few days of it, or one of the many who will endure a whole season of soaring thermometers, you’ll want to be certain to know how to keep your pets safe. You might think you’re hot, but remember your pet has a fur coat on! Check out these signs of heat exhaustion in pets and be certain to follow these steps to help prevent it!

Summer Heat Tips For Pets

  • Brush your pet regularly! Many animals will shed during the first part of the summer heat and removing  that extra hair from their coat will both help keep them cooler and keep them from ingesting so much of it during their regular grooming! Feel free to trim long haired breeds!
  • Plenty of water! We know this seems like an obvious tip, but many people get in the habit of refreshing their pets water based on winter consumption. How much your pet drinks during the  summer will often greatly increase so be sure to check their water more often than usual. Also, make sure it’s fresh and try to keep it in the shade. Maybe even freeze a bottle of water and place it in your outdoor pets water bowl to help keep their water cool.
  • Make sure your pet has plenty of shade! And we don’t mean just a dog house to get in. They need to have access to full shade and open air at all points during the day. A dog house in full sun offers little to no relief for pets during the peak of summer heat.
  • Try spraying down a shaded area a couple times a day for your pet to lounge in, or place a little kiddie pool in the shade! Staying moist is a great way to deal with summer heat.
  • Watch out for hot sidewalks and streets while walking your pet! Most animals feet are tougher than humans, but they can still find the hot sidewalks or asphalt to be uncomfortable or painful. Try walking your pet in the grass if possible. Or talk walks in the morning before the summer heat has taken hold.

Keeping Cool in the Summer HeatRemember to keep an eye out for odd behavior in your pet and check on them frequently. Also never ever leave your pet alone in a vehicle on a hot day! Even with a window cracked the temperatures inside a car will skyrocket in a very short period of time. Preparing for the summer heat ensures you and your pet a great healthy season!

 

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Missing Pets: What Do You Do Next?‏

The scenario every pet owner dreads – your beloved companion has gone missing. A missing pet can be an especially emotional and stressful situation. Having an action plan to try to locate and bring your pet home safely is a must. Just like keeping the phone numbers for the sheriff, ambulance, and fire station handy, you should save this blog post as a future reference. Like the aforementioned phone numbers, let’s hope you never have to use it!

Before we get to the tips though, let’s take a moment to cover some precautionary things you can do. When you first get your pet, make sure they have a collar that contains your contact information. Even if they are strictly an indoor pet they should wear an identification collar. Should they slip out of the home unnoticed you’ll be happy they had one! Microchips that can be implanted at your local vet’s office are also a great option to track your missing pet in an emergency.

Flyers are a great way to get the word out!

Tips to bring home your missing pet

  • One of the simplest steps to find a lost pet is still  asking your neighbors. Often times a lost dog or cat will not wander far out of their neighborhood and its likely someone on your block has seen them. Footwork is the best way because it allows your lost pet access to your scent and hear the sound of your voice. They might be looking for you too!
  • While you and your friends are scouring the local area, bring flyers and hang them up at intersections, local shops – anywhere someone may pause for a moment. Be sure your phone number is on the flyer!
  • If you’re like most pet owners, you probably have a thousand photos of your pet. In addition to asking your neighbors, show them a recent photo. Then take that photo and upload it to all your social media accounts and ask all your friends who live in proximity to share it with their friends. The more eyes looking the better your chances!
  • Take you photo to the local pet shelters and ask if your pet has been brought in recently. Leave your number and a picture in case someone comes in with your missing pet after you’ve been there.

If you’re in a more metro area, check out these websites:

FidoFinder

The Center For Lost Pets 

A word of caution: if someone calls saying they have found your missing pet and wants to meet you somewhere or come to your home, ask them to name some identifying characteristics about your pet that maybe weren’t noticeable in the flyer if possible. Ask to meet in a public place (even the local sheriff’s office if something feels off) and be certain to have at least one friend with you – especially if they are coming to your home (which we don’t advise).

Furthermore, never give up hope! Stories all the time surface of pets finding their way home through unfathomable odds!

Rescue Series Conclusion – See the Closing Music Video!

Following up on our coverage of Josh Duhamel’s and PetSmart Charities  “Rescue Waggin: Tales from the Road” production, we are proud to present  the video conclusion of this amazing 8 Episode project featuring the actors who helped make these rescues possible – providing ‘Forever Homes’ to these pets who’ve had unfortunate starts. Enjoy!

(Video now unavailable)

The 8 episodes encourage future pet owners to adopt shelter pets instead of buying them, and walks us through the journey or relocating discarded pets from over crowded and  poorly frequented shelters to new “no-kill’ shelters where they are more likely to be picked up for adoption instead of euthanized.  You can see the appreciation of a new loving home in the dogs eyes!

                     The Sad Truth About Rescue Shelters

  • Up to 4 million dogs are euthanized each year at pet shelters
  • There are approximately 5000 animal shelters nationwide who see upwards of 5 million pets each year
  • Only 25% of pets that wind up at a shelter end up getting adopted
  • Only 15% of dogs end up getting returned to their owners, and only 2% of cats
  • 60% of dogs and 70% of cats that end up in a shelter are euthanized
  • Approximately $1Billion dollars of tax money is spent annually to pick up, house and euthanize neglected, abandoned, and unspayed/neutered companion animals.
   Look here for more pet shelter statistics and remember to make your local town or county shelter the first stop when seeking out your next loving companion!

Rescue a pet today!

Six Successful Grooming Tips for Your Pet

Do you ever struggle with grooming your pet; think it’s too much of a hassle to bathe your pet? Well, there are ways to navigate the difficulty of bathing and grooming. Here are some tips for a successful grooming session.

  • Proper rinsing is important to ensure that all of the pet shampoo is fully cleansed from your pet’s fur. If not, the remaining shampoo can cause excessive dryness to your pet’s coat.
  • Have a pet with sensitive and skin issues? Look for a shampoo that has oatmeal as an ingredient, as it is very soothing.
  • Have a white dog? Purchase a shampoo that’s specially formulated for them, so that their coat will not have a dirty or yellowish tone.
  • Keep your dog’s toenails trimmed accordingly.
  • Remember that certain breeds have special needs during grooming. Pugs, Bulldogs and other flat-faced dogs require specific attention to their facial area. I use baby wipes to clean out my Bulldog’s wrinkles. Make sure your veterinarian knows of these specific needs, as well as your groomer, if you decide to retain professional services.
  • Always remember to brush your pet! Brushing ensures a healthier looking coat, removes dead hair, and stimulates the skin; plus, most pooches and kitties love it 

Do you have any grooming tips that you have been successful with to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you!

Discover 7 Pet Food Safety Tips for Overall Health

Did you know that as a pet owner, the mishandling of your pooches or feline’s food can result in hazardous health problems for your pet, as well for you? Yes, that is correct!  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advise pet owners “Consumers can take steps to help prevent food borne illness, including Salmonella-related illness, when handling pet foods and treats.” The following are seven guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your pet.

  • Don’t buy cans or containers that are damaged or dented.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm soap water before you handle your pet’s food each time.
  • Clean your pet’s food bowl after each meal, and always wash the water bowl no less than once every other day.
  • Wet food must be refrigerated, and if they can’t be they are to be tossed into the trash.
  • Dry food should be kept at room temperature and should never be kept in storage that exceeds 80 degrees.
  • Place soiled food in a sealed bag or container and trash it.
  • Always keep your pets away from food storage areas and trash containers.

With the recent pet food recalls due to contamination, including salmonella, it is imperative that these suggestive tips be implemented. Often times, these recalls are from a facility which affects it’s workers, who are then hospitalized for their symptoms.

According to The Animal Health Literacy Campaign it is important to keep pet bowls cleaned because “Animals have bacterial microbes in their mouths and these microbes can be transferred to the dishes pets eat and drink from. Food left in the dishes can provide the microbes with a good environment for multiplying (moisture, oxygen and nutrients) and can produce illness in people who touch the dish, or the pet that eats or drinks from the bowl or dish.”

Have any further tips to suggest in keeping your pet’s food and bowl safe? We’d love for you to share them with us!

Source: http://www.huliq.com/10061/7-pet-food-safety-tips-maintain-good-health

Signs that your Dog or Pet is Depressed

Do you have a dog that’s depressed, or has been in the past? Or have you had a pet that has or had been depressed and didn’t know about it for quite some time? We have several notable physical signs to monitor your pet’s behavior and to detect if they may be depressed. Follow these tips as recommended and seen in Good Housekeeping magazine:

  • Usually the first and obvious sign is less or altogether stopping of eating or drinking. This will affect your pet’s health overall, if not treated as soon as possible or accurately.
  • Chewing and Destroying Items– This is very detrimental behavior that not only affects your pet, but your household, along coveted and cherished items/pieces in your home. Boredom and depression play large factors in chewing and destroying things.
  • Using the Bathroom in the House or Outside of the Litter Box– While many times pets do this is because of their mad or angry, they can also be expressing sadness.
  • Zero of Loss of Interest in Activities– This signals low feelings and sadness in pets. They may used to love to walk, run or play ball, and now they have no interest in those things anymore. Be alert to your pet’s behavior, especially when they go from doing the things they love, to having no real desire to do none of it anymore.
  • Less Tail Wagging– If your dog is no longer tail-wagging, be aware that something’s up. A happy tail wagging usually means a happy dog, and the same is meant for the opposite of he or she being sad or depressed.
  • Hiding– If your pet is hiding more often than usual, and rarely coming out for cat scratches, belly rubs, or petting, your pet is probably depressed.
  • Needs Constant Companionship– If your pet is craving constantly pet-human bonding at all times, beware that your pet is probably upset that you’re not around. When you are around and you begin to leave, they start crying, whimpering or become anxious. This is also a form of separation anxiety.
  • Too Much or Not Enough Grooming– Of course it’s normal for your pet to groom themselves, yet excessive grooming is not normal, and is indication of physical and/or emotional issues. Too much grooming can cause skin infections, and none grooming can cause excessive shedding and hair issues.
  • Increased Vocalization–  Since pet’s can’t talk about how they feel or what bothers or hurts them, they bark, whine, growl, hiss, or meow, and sometimes these expressions become increased; this is their way of telling you something is wrong.

Do you notice any other signs in your pet’s decrease in activity level. Have you experienced more or less symptoms with your pet?

We want to hear from you. Let us know in a comment on this post!

Article Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/pet-advice/dog-cat-depression#slide-9

Did You Know: 10 Human Foods Your Dog Can Eat Too

We often stress the dangers of giving pets, especially dogs and cats, foods that we eat from the table. It is true there are many foods that we eat that are not susceptible to our pets diet, and should be eliminated altogether for health and safety reasons. However, in a new article featured on Yahoo! from Woman’s Day contributing writer, Brianna Steinhilber, there are 10 foods that dogs can eat and stay safe. They are: 

  • Spinach Omelet– Eggs are a great source of protein for our pets, and the spinach provides fiber that helps regulates a healthy weight, as well as offering loads of Vitamin A & K; these help with metabolism and keep coat shiny. Stick to one egg, though. 
  • Yogurt & Banana Parfait– Yogurt provides protein and calcium, and bananas provide electrolytes, potassium and fiber. These nutrients provide muscle strength and monitor fluid balance.
  • Boiled Chicken & Brown Rice– This helps with an upset stomach that your dog may be having, but start with a .5 oz serving, since not all dogs’ stomachs can handle larger portions. This combo is known to be fiber-rich and easily digestable.
  • Salmon & Green Beans– Salmon has omega 3’s and fish oil; an excellent source of what your dog needs and requires. Ensure the salmon is cooked well to eliminate any harmful bacteria, and feed only a .1 oz portion. Green beans are an added benefit to help your dog lose weight as they are rich in fiber.
  • Apples & Peanut Butter– Apples contain pectin, which helps with digestion, but your dog only needs to ingest a few slices. Any more than that can result in an upset tummy, because of the high content in sugar. 1 to 2 tsp of peanut butter provides your dog with healthy fats, proteins and vitamins, and choose an all-natural variety.
  • Steak and Mashed Sweet Potatoes– Lean red meat is a great source of amino acids, and vitamin B, but bake or broil 1 oz of the leanest cuts and trim any visible fat. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, Vitamin C and beta carotene, which are good for the eyes.
  • Pasta with Peas & Carrots– Plain boiled pasta is easily digestable, and purchase frozen peas and carrots instead of canned. Peas & carrots offer tons of Vitamin A and B Vitamin. You can also choose gluten-free pasta which is even more healthier for your pet, eliminating any allergies that may trigger in your pet.
  • Fruit Salad– Known for its great energizing entities on hot summer days, it also contains lots of Vitamin C and fiber. Choose melons and berries for your pet’s fruit salad, but avoid grapes, because they can cause kidney failure. Cottage cheese is a great addition for your pet also, since it contains ample amounts of protein.
  • Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies– Peanut butter is easily digestable with great amounts of protein and other nutritious vitamins. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which regulates digestion.
  • Unsalted, Butter-Free Popcorn– Plain, air-popped popcorn provides bone-building with minerals consisting of phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. Do not put salt or add butter, which leads to upset stomach, and pick out any unpopped kernels, because they can cause choking.

These are interesting alternatives that we can safely administer and feed to our pet; even medial vet doctors have encouraged several of these foods. What do you think about these foods? Would you feed your dog these foods?

Article Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/10-surprising-human-foods-dogs-eat-182700660.html

Pet Nanny Main Line’s Did You Know Post of the Week

I personally love this news, and think there might be less patients with heart problems in the hospital, and much less of a stay while recovering. Several doctors think it’s a great thing, especially for those patients who are in critical conditions, and fare better when their companion is near them. It has been noted to calm the patient tremendously and reduce risk.

There is a new program called Faithful Friends that takes place at the University of Maryland Medical Center, which allows a patient’s pet to visit he or she in the hospital. Before worry or concern sets in for the patient or other patients in the hospital, the pet must undergo strict screening, grooming, along with vaccinations. These visits from their canine or feline companion can help turn the patient’s outlook for the better and reduce their recovery time. The patient’s pet has been noted to reduce the heart rate and offers “a calming piece of home.”

Article Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52246306#52201872

Keep Your Pet Safe From Poisonous Treats

This year it has been reported there is a rise of pet deaths, due to jerky treats that have since been blacklisted from the market. It’s also noted that since 2007, there have been 361 deaths total, mostly dogs, with one incident reported of a cat.

The FDA has given notice that they are investigating the causes and their panel of experts include toxicologists, vetrinary researchers, among several others. Much of our jerky treats and pet food has been imported from China, and has recently expanded since 2003. The most common illnesses are vomiting and diarrhea, with a number of others included. Currently, the FDA is doing it’s best to investigate all pet treats and food for any signs of contamination.

A few tips from the FDA to keep pets safe when eating dog/cat treats and food:

1. Pet owners can eliminate treats from a diet as they are not necessary or harmful when taken away, as long as they are fed their standard pet food.

2. Should you choose to give treats to your pet, look for abnormal signs after eatching, such as vomiting, diarrhea, becoming lethargic, and anything else that is out of the ordinary; call your vet immediately, if symptoms do not subside.

3. If you suspect your pet has an illness, owners can report it electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal3, or by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators in your state.

Have you, as a pet owner or vetrinarian, experienced an illness such as this with your pet? If so, what precautions and further tips can you provide for our readers to prevent this from happening again?

Sources:

http://www.khou.com/community/blogs/animal-attraction/Animal-Attraction—170150376.html

http://www.fda.gov

Eliminating and Diminishing Pet Odors In Your Home

Whether you’re an owner of one or several animals, it can be difficult to maintain an odor-free home. While some people have better sense of smells than others, I can’t begin to tell you how many people I know that can smell a pet-filled home, before the front door even opens. I currently own two dogs, and have previously owned both dogs and cats, including rabbits and chickens, and they each have distinct odors. Sometimes a keen sense of smell can be a blessing, but for these particular odors, often times not. These odors can be quickly eliminated by proper and in-between caring of animals, along with fast and effective simple procedures, that many of us overlook because we get too busy, or think we can do that later. The following tips are ways to eliminate and neutralize odors that occur from your pet(s).

 

1. Have your animals regularly groomed each month. In-between groomings, use a bath/wash spray, such as Waterless Pet Bath by Minute Groom and Groomax Spa.

Yes, I know, most cats hate water, but there are some who can and will tolerate it. As an owner of a cat for 15 years, I began bathing my cat when he was young, that way he was used to it as he grew older. He didn’t like them, but he tolerated them. If it’s impossible to bathe your cat, then a wash spray is equally effective, as most cats prefer to groom themselves anyway. Dr. Mary Becker of Vet Street, states that your animal should be bathed weekly, but as that is quite expensive, in-between fresh-ups with waterless pet baths and spas are ideal. You can purchase many of these at any pet retail store, such as PetSmart, and other stores that sell pet products, like Walmart and Target.

 

2. Make sure you keep your house regularly cleaned, preferably once a week.

If you have hardwood/tile floors, mopping and dusting is essential to rid of dirt, excess hair, among other foibles. According to Dr. Becker also states that it is imperative that when your dog and/or cat “uses the box or goes in the yard, scoop and toss right away.” The key is to not let it sit for an extended period of time; that’s when the smell sets in and lasts. The longer it sets in, the harder it is to eliminate. Be responsible, and get on it right away.

Dr. Becker also suggests that “regular cleaning where your pet likes to spend most of his or her time, will keep smells from building up and setting in.”

 

3. Keeping up with your dogs dental health. Another suggestion from PetsLady.com author, Savanna Y Lujan, is “keeping your dogs dental hygiene in good health, because the saliva from their bad breath can rub off on your floors and furniture.

 

Overall, taking adequate and proper responsibility of your animal’s health and your home is key to sustaining an odorous-free home. Having a pet is a lot like having children; you want them to be well, and you do your best to keep them healthy and energized. In order for that to continue, proper care will need to be made to keep them that way, and if not, changes will have to occur for it to to endure.

 

Do you have any suggestions for keeping an odorous-free home for you, your family and your pets? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

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