Heat Illness Risk for #Pets

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“We understand many families want to take pets with them while they run errands, but this sets you and your loved companion up for a bad situation,” said Erica Little, Environmental Health Administrator. “In as little as 10 minutes, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees. Your car can quickly become a heat trap that puts your loved pet at danger of serious illness or even death.”

The Health Department provided these tips to keep animals safe during the summer heat:
• Do not leave a pet unattended in a hot car.
• Always make sure pets have access to cool, clean, fresh water as well as adequate food and shelter.
• Walk your dog in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. If you must walk mid-day, shorten the distance. And keep your dog in the grass as much as possible, as hot sidewalks can burn the pads of their feet.
• Do not leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the summer can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke.

Kids, seniors and those with mental or physical illnesses have the highest risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Some symptoms of heat exhaustion are: heavy sweating, paleness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fainting or nausea.

If someone has heat stroke, their body temperature rises to above 104°F and they may show signs of red, hot or dry skin, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache or unconsciousness.

To protect against illnesses like these:
• Drink plenty of water, avoiding extremely cold drinks.
• Avoid strenuous work/exercise and stay in an air-conditioned area.
• Wear loose, light clothing and protect yourself from the sun.
• Try to not be outside during the hottest times.

read more…

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Love traveling with Pets

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What better place to drive than beautiful California. Up the coast, the wine country, the mountains. Which pretty much means my significant other Cookie and our dog Guillermo get dragged along for weekend getaways.

Just as you should be driving defensively, watching out for bad drivers, road hazards and so forth, you should practice defensive pet traveling.

The first thing to watch out for this time of year is the dreaded Foxtail grass. The grass puts out a stalk with seeds that resemble a stalk of wheat, especially when they dry and turn from green to straw color. What make them dangerous for our pets are the seeds. They have a tiny barb on the end that loves to embed into the skin or enter the nose, ear or eye.

Pets that inhale a foxtail up their nose often sneeze violently and may paw at their face. We often see foxtails enter the feet of dogs at the webbing between the middle two toes. This weedy grass is all over the place and it only takes a second for your pet to pick up one of these things when you stop for a potty break. Google an image of the foxtail grass and avoid them.

Bees and bugs. The flowers really bloomed this year and the bees are loving them too. Bees tend to hang out on the clover in the grass and your pets can easily step on them. If you can find the stinger, remove it by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail. Don’t grab and pinch it with your fingers because you may squeeze the sac attached to the stinger and inject more venom into your pet.

Just as in people, pets may have mild or severe allergic reactions to bee stings. An anaphylactic reaction is the most severe and your pet may vomit or collapse. Owners may mistake this for a seizure. This is a true emergency and you need to get to an animal hospital as soon as possible for supportive care.

Overheating. Not every place you come across on your travels will be pet friendly. Do not leave your pet in the car unattended, even if it’s just to run in to get a sandwich to go. Cars become virtual ovens in minutes and unlike humans, dogs and cats can’t sweat and take advantage of the breeze from a half rolled down window. Even if you don’t think the temperature in the car feels too hot to you, your pet simply can’t tolerate heat the way a person can.

Bring extra water, pet food, medicine that your pet may be taking — and a bowl. This should be obvious, but with all the hustling to get out of town it’s often overlooked. read more…

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FortiFlora (Probiotic) may be right for your pet

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1. What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms similar to those found naturally in the intestines, which help maintain balance in the digestive tract. After being consumed, they help to inhibit harmful pathogens from colonizing the GI tract. Nestlé has pioneered research into how probiotics can be beneficial to health, leading to many products that help humans achieve healthy digestion, like infant formulas, nutritional drinks for children and yogurt for adults. At Purina, this research has gone to helping cats and dogs too.

2. When Might a Pet Need Probiotics?

If you’ve noticed your pet has had gastrointestinal incidents, like vomiting, diarrhea or excessive gas, your pet might benefit from a probiotic supplement.

These GI conditions are often associated with an imbalance in intestinal microflora (bacteria), which can be triggered by stress (related to boarding or changes in the home environment), dietary problems or food change. Since antibiotics work by killing bacteria, antibiotic therapy can also leave a pet in need of a probiotic boost.

3.  Do They Taste Good for Pets?

It depends how you feed the probiotic to the pet. Some supplements are oral pastes, some are powders, some are pills or capsules. In point 4, we’ll discuss why your pet may prefer the flavor of FortiFlora®.

4. FortiFlora® may be right for your pet

If you think probiotics might be right for your pet, you should ask your veterinarian about Purina Veterinary Diets® FortiFlora® Probiotic Supplements. Available only by prescription, they are safe and effective for cats and dogs. Here’s why:

  • FortiFlora Probiotic Supplements are made with a proprietary micro encapsulation process that stabilizes the microorganisms and creates multilayer protection against moisture. This helps make sure that when the probiotics get where they need to be in your pet’s GI tract, they’ll still be alive and effective at doing what they need to do.
  • Unlike traditional supplements, FortiFlora comes in a packet that you can sprinkle right on your pet’s food. We’ve made it so tasty to pets that it’s actually been shown to increase their desire to eat.
  • FortiFlora contains antioxidant Vitamins A, E and C, which can help support a strong immune system. read more…

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The Responsibility of Pet Keeping

pet-ownersWhile pets are abundant in our culture, it’s easy to forget that owning pets is a luxury that requires a lot of responsibility and time commitment. We all want the best for our pets, which is why it is important to remember the time, emotional, and financial obligations that are associated with pet ownership.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets in 2015. This number likely includes food, training, grooming, toys, veterinary care, and formal kennel services, Dr. Christine Rutter, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences said. However, this number probably does not include carpet cleaning, replaced shoes, furniture repair, or paying a friend to watch your pet while you travel, Rutter added.

While owning a pet may seem like a good idea, Rutter suggested considering all the expenses of keeping a pet, including veterinary visits and pet services and supplies. “A pet may be a small aspect of a person’s life, but the pet owner is everything to the pet,” she said.

Before choosing a pet, Rutter suggested considering factors such as the amount of time you can spend with the pet, money for veterinary care and supplies, and the space you have available for exercise. She said, “It is good to put some serious thought into whether or not your life is compatible with the needs of a pet before adopting or purchasing a pet.”

Additionally, potential pet owners should think about what is the healthiest environment for a specific type of pet. Each type of pet has different needs, whether you are caring for a beta fish, gerbil, cat, or dog. Rutter suggested pet owners do their homework by researching their pet’s environmental, grooming, nutrition, and housing needs. For example, a cat or a fish may be best suited for someone living in an apartment, while a bigger breed of dog may be more appropriate for someone with a big backyard. Your veterinarian can also offer you advice and guide you in your research. read more…

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Five good reasons to adopt a shelter pet

pet.health.jpgEarly November marks National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, a good time to note the amazing work our shelters do in keeping animals and people safe and cared for in our communities.

Animal shelters serve as community resources for animal care, education and outreach. If the post-election season has you thinking about getting involved in something outside of politics, consider how you might help local animals in need: Shelters always appreciate volunteers and donations of pet supplies, food and expertise.

Of course, shelters are also good places for pet adoption if you are considering adding a furry friend to your family.

Before adopting a pet, research the shelter or rescue you are considering. There are no national registries for animal shelters and rescues, yet some states, including Colorado, require facilities to register and follow animal-care guidelines. Most people who run rescues and shelters have their hearts in the right place, but some struggle with appropriate care and knowledge of disease control.

To be sure you are adopting from a reputable shelter, ask these questions:

  • How long has the facility been in existence?
  • Is the facility licensed?
  • Where are the pets housed?
  • What care do the pets receive, including vaccinations, de-worming and social time?
  • Is there a veterinarian on staff or on call?
  • Where do the pets come from?

Read more…

We are spending more on pampering our pets

imagesThe American Pet Products Association, a trade organization that, among other things, tracks spending on pet products, estimates that Americans will spend $62.75 billion on their pets in 2016.

In 2015, Americans spent $60.28 billion, according to the association. That’s up sharply from the $17 billion that households spent on pets in 1994, the earliest year for which figures were available. The dollar amounts include food, supplies, medicine, vet care, animals, grooming, and boarding.

Boarding has become increasingly popular as families work more and are home less.

“We can’t keep up because we work such long hours,” said Brenda Langley, owner of Lucky Puppy, a doggy daycare in Maybee, Mich. “We’re such a busy society.”

On any given day at Lucky Puppy, Mrs. Langley and her employees have about 50 dogs in their care. The dogs spend their days outside running, digging, jumping, and doing other dog things on the facility’s 13 acres. There’s a bone-shaped pool and pond for swimming, a supervised playground, and nature trails to explore. For the dogs who board at the daycare, they get to camp out in the Langley’s basement, in a custom-built Western-style town.

The daycare, which has been open for 10 years, will soon be featured on a show on Animal Planet, Mrs. Langley said. She suspected the daycare was found and courted for the show after videos of their dogs swimming in the bone-shaped pool went viral.

Daycare for pups is $24 per day or $60 for three days, Mrs. Langley said.

“They get to be like family,” she said.

“We get to know them and all of their unique personalities. It’s really fun.” read more…read more…

Considering pet adoption, think about these questions?

When I fall in love, I fall hard.

It was midway through my sophomore year of college. Despite sharing my tiny apartment with three other roommates, things were a bit lonely with classes, jobs and sorority functions keeping everyone busy. After much contemplation, I decided that a cuddly guinea pig was just what I needed. But after a night of seemingly innocent petfinder.com browsing that ultimately led to a bus ride to the local Petsmart, I found myself staring through the window at a dozing, six-month old kitten.

Despite my parents’ hesitations and my own better judgement, I adopted the kitten I fell in love with at the pet store. She was small but curious, sassy, and, for the most part, fearless, so she earned a name worthy of a lioness: Nala.

It’s a common-enough story: College student with newfound freedom and independence gives in to the desire to bring a pet home. In my case, the story has a happy ending. Two and a half years later and 1,400 miles away, I’m writing this article and watching Nala laze in the shade of our backyard.

But for many animals and their humans, all too often the story goes like this: College student with newfound freedom and independence gives in to the desire to bring a pet home. College student realizes shortly after there’s too little time, money or space for the new friend. Animal is promptly returned to the animal shelter or rehomed.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before adopting or purchasing a pet.

  • Am I allowed to have this pet?
  • Do I have the resources to be able to care for this pet?
  • How will my pet fit in with my lifestyle?
  • Am I able to make a commitment to this animal for the remainder of its life?

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