Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Helpful Animal Tips

I don't know about you, but I always like reading helpful tips about animals. Every now and then, I read one that I didn't know. Listed below are a few that I saw in a recent article on the Humane Society of the United States' web site:

* Never leave a pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the window slightly open.
*When taking a dog for a walk on a hot day, plan for shorter walks midday, when temperatures peak, and longer walks in the morning and evening when it's cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on a dog's paws, so walk on the grass when possible.
*Be sure to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventative medications. Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms. Check with a veterinarian about the best way to keep pets healthy.
*Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.
*Pet rabbits should be kept indoors because they don't tolerate heat well. Keeping a rabbit indoors will also provide protection from predators who might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.
*The summer months are the peak season for dog bites because so many kids and dogs are playing outside. Training, socialization and dog spaying or neutering a dog can reduce the risk of dog bites. Kids can learn to stay safe through good manners around pets and humane education.

For more information on this article, please click here.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    What to Do if Your Pet Is Bitten by a Spider

    I recently read a very interesting article about black widow spiders and what to do if your pet is bitten by one. The article also described what a black widow spider looks like, where you can normally encounter one, and the symptoms associated with a spider bith. 

    The female black widow spider, of course, is the one that your pet would most likely encounter and she is the most dangerous because of the level of neurotoxin venom that she carries.

    For more information and to read the full article, please click here.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    How do you Deal with Cat Hair?

    I recently read a helpful article by Dr. Amy Wolff about how to reduce the amount of cat hair in your house, car, clothes and furniture. As I know from personal experience, cat hair can definitely cause allergies to flare up. Plus, who wants to sit on a couch covered with any type of pet hair?

    Here are a few strategies that Dr. Wolff suggested for controlling pet hair.

    Grooming - Keeping your pet well groomed is by far the most important step you can take in controlling the hair in your home.
    Furniture - Decrease the amount left is to discourage your pet from getting on the furniture.  Give your pets comfortable beds or pet furniture and a specific place to lie. If your pet has already adopted a couch or chair as his favorite spot, try treating it with a fabric protector.

    Carpets - Regular vacuuming will help remove most of the pet hair.
    Clothing - Pet hair rollers and brushes with specialized cloth that will capture hair in the nap of the fabric. A fabric softener dryer sheet can also be rubbed over the surface of clothing as a pet hair pick up.

    The Car - Draping the seat with a towel or sheet is the easiest way to prevent hair from working its way into the seat. If practical, keep your pet in a carrier when traveling in the car. It's safer and prevents shedding in the vehicle.
    Shed-less Pets - If pet hair is still a problem, consider breeds that shed less than others or hairless breeds such as the Sphinx cat.

    To read the full article, please click here.

    Help for Reducing Scratching on Furniture (by Cats)

    Furniture scratching is a frustrating behavior unwelcome by most cat owners. In the cat's mind, he is simply marking his territory or sharpening his claws. For you, he is destroying an expensive piece of furniture. There are a couple of ways to diminish this behavior. The easiest, though painful for the cat, is declawing. A more humane method, which I prefer, is behavior modification including the use of deterrents, periodic nail trims and training your cat to use a scratching post.

    For more information on why cats scratch in the first place and several ways to deter cats scratching on furniture, please click here.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Is Your Dog at Risk for Bloat?

    I recently read an interesting article about canine bloat. What I didn't know before reading this article is that this is the number one cause of death for several large and giant breeds. It is a life-threatening disorder and if left untreated, results in death.
    In the article, they specifically focused on larger dogs such as the Great Dane, Bloodhound, Standard Poodle, Irish Wolfhound, German Shepherd, Irish Setter, Akita, or Boxer, because it's been determined that they are at greater risk.
    To find out more information about bloat in dogs and to take the risk test, please click here.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Freekibble.com - Play Trivia to Feed Pets in Shelters

    Mimi Ausland, was 11 years old when she decided to help feed the hungry cats and dogs at her local animal shelter in Bend, Oregon. "There are 10's of thousands of dogs and cats in animal shelters across the country, all needing to be fed a good meal." From this desire to help feed shelter animals, Freekibble.com was launched on April 01, 2008.
    Freekibble.com's primary mission is to provide healthy, nutritious food to the dogs and cats at shelters who are working so hard to see that none of their animals go hungry - they need our help. Now, in addition to providing free kibble to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, Mimi and Freekibble are feeding many 1,000's of dogs and cats in shelters, rescues and through food-banks across the country... EVERYDAY!
    For more information about Freekibble.com, please click here.

    Disaster Preparedness for Animals

    In light of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, natural disasters have been at the forefront in everyone’s mind. You never know when or where a natural disaster is going to strike. You may have a plan for yourself but, does it include your pets?
    The HSUS has a great web page that helps you design your plan. They first recommend starting with the basics:
    ·         Prepare a plan (even for everyday emergencies), including identifying a place to stay that will accept your pets 
    ·         Develop a checklist for all your pets’ supplies and medical information
    ·         Identify a friend, neighbor, or family member who can take care of your pet if you are away
    The federal government now officially supports including pets in disaster plans. In 2000, The HSUS and FEMA signed a partnership agreement to encourage and assist people who want to safeguard their pets in a natural disaster. The agreement allows people to bring their pets with them to stay at the shelters. But don’t assume any shelter you go to will allow you to keep your dog or cat with you. Be sure and check with your local officials and confirm that you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets and that shelters that take people and their pets is available in your area.
    For more information about disaster preparedness for pets, livestock and horses, please click on the respective links that will take you to the HSUS web site.

    Are Dogs Smart Enough to Do Our Job?

    Newsweek recently featured a very interesting article about dogs being trained to be medical technicians, military bomb specialists, pest patrol, and deep-sea scientists and, of course, reality TV stars.
    For more information about “Are Dogs Stealing Our Jobs”?, please click here.

    Trust Funds and Wills for Your Pets

    Often, when preparing a will, we think about which friend or family member we want to leave our precious heirlooms to or, who gets what percentage of the money that remains. But, have you ever thought about what will happen to your pets if you should pass before they do. You can’t simply trust or expect your best friend or relative to take care of everything. Even if they bring your pet home with them to live, will they be able to pay for all of the expenses? That's why you should have a will that details what should happen to your pets should they outlive you and establish a trust fund to cover the costs.
    Like trust funds for human family members, trust funds for pets can be set up in order to provide for the beneficiary's care when the pet owner dies. Arrangements can be made as to who will be the pet's new caretaker as well as what the funds should cover for the rest of the animal's life.

    Funds for your pet are normally dispersed each month. Most people leave the caregiver a separate percentage or dollar amount for making sure their animal is cared for properly.
    To find out more information about how to set up a pet trust, click here.

    Helpful Pet Tip - Seizures

    If your pet has seizures, ask your vet to test him/her for food allergies. One of my dogs began to have seizures shortly after I brought him home from the shelter. I had my veterinarian perform a comprehensive allergy test (using a blood sample) and discovered that he had many allergies, including chicken and rice, which were both in the food that he was eating.
    The company that provided the results from the allergy test also provided a list of foods (canned and dry) and treats that he would be able to eat safely. I switched his food to one of those on the list and he hasn't had another seizure. Food allergies may not always be the cause of seizures, but it is worth investigating with your veterinarian.

    For more helpful tips such as this, read my book, Wagging Tales: Every Animal Has a Tale. It contains 32 stories about animals that I have helped as well as 23 other helpful tips that you can implement with your pet immediately. My book can be ordered on 
    Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com or through your local independent or regular bookstore.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    A Well-Coordinated Search Leads to Lost Dog Being Found

    As you all know, one of the main areas that I focus on as an animal communicator is assisting with lost animals. In addition to communicating with the lost animal, I also do map dowsing in order to determine their general location.

    Recently, I was contacted by a volunteer with Furry Friends Network, to help locate Daisy Mae, a 7 year old German Shepherd mix who escaped when she was being transported from one rescue group to another.

    If you followed the story on Facebook, you know that this story had a happy ending. But what I was so impressed with was how well-coordinated the group of volunteers were in searching for Daisy Mae. They created hundreds of flyers and posted them everywhere, they created a page on Facebook, and they asked everyone that worked outdoors in the area where Daisy Mae went missing to keep an eye out for her.

    During my communication with Daisy Mae, she was seen by a turnpike worker. Part of my communication with Daisy Mae was to ask her to show herself and allow someone to help her.

    From what I understand from the volunteer coordinating the search, as volunteers approached Daisy Mae, she didn't run away from them like she had before when approached. This allowed her to be taken to safety and then on to her new foster home.  

    I thought I would share Daisy Mae's story with all of you because it had a very happy ending. 

    Medication Reminder for Pets

    If you’re like me, you can’t remember anything unless it’s written down and posted on a sticky note. So, if you’ve ever found it difficult to remember when it’s time to give your pet his/her next dose of medication, I’ve found a great solution for you. It's called the "Remind My Pet" service.
    On the "Remind My Pet" service web site, you can register your pet's medication requirements and they’ll send you a text or e-mail reminder the day it is due. Once registered, you don’t have to remember anything else. So, you can now save a tree…or at least a stack or two of sticky notes.
    To find out more information about the “Remind My Pet” service, please click here. Oh, and while you’re on the site, remember to request your free emergency "Save My Pet" stickers, too.

    How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

    How often you should bathe your dog really depends on the type of dog you have and your preference. We have a Schnauzer in our family. For the most part, his head and back often are groomed very short by a professional groomer. Thus, he doesn't pick up much from the environment and stays fairly clean. However, he does have a long beard and skirt that seems to attract every leaf, stick and dirt particle from his big back yard.
    Some of the things to consider when determining if it’s the right time to bathe your dog include: the dog’s hair/ coat type, hair length, where he spends most of his time (indoors or outdoors), shedding cycle, allergens in the environment and any skin issues that you are aware of.
    Some dogs need bathed only a few times a year while others need weekly bathing. Brushing your dog regularly will help maintain the coat, avoid mats in the fur and keep your dog clean. I believe bathing your dog every month is reasonable. Some dogs will need more frequent baths or need to be fully groomed. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your pet when his coat gets dirty or begins to smell "like a dog".
    You can consult with your local grooming salon or veterinarian for further advice.

    Cats Can Get Acne!

    Did you know that cats can get acne? I was surprised to learn about this from one of my friends that has several cats in her family. One of the major causes of feline acne is feeding or giving your cat water out of bowls made of plastic. Apparently, because plastic is porous, it can trap bacteria which is then transferred to the cat's chin while eating or drinking.
    For more information about feline acne, please click here.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    "Buckle UP" for Your Pets, Too!

    There’s a “Be Smart Ride Safe” program that I read about recently online. The program is designed to educate people about the dangers associated with having an unrestrained pet in your car if there were an accident. If you’ve ever been in an automobile accident, you know that you don’t have a lot of control once another car is coming towards you or, up from behind, and hits you. If you have a pet in the car, they can become injured when they are not restrained. Even if you are only driving 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds as he slams into a car seat, windshield or passenger. Another danger is if rescue workers have to rescue you and your pet hinders their progress by acting aggressively towards them. As you know, when animals are scared, they may bite someone. So, for your safety and your pet’s safety, please transport them in a crate, put a seatbelt (designed specifically for pets) on them or, use any of the other commercially approved means of restraining them during travel that you are comfortable with. For more information about this program, please click here.

    College is Going to the Dogs (and Cats, too)!

    Starting with the Spring 2011 semester, Lees-McRae College will join the ranks of other pet-friendly colleges and universities by allowing students to bring their pets to live with them at school. Lees-McRae College is located in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Barry Buxton, the president of the Presbyterian college, was recently quoted as saying, “We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals. We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.” For more information about this college and their pet policy, please click here. To read the full article in which Mr. Buxton was quoted, please click here.

    If You're Changing a Pet's Routine, You May Want to Talk to Them About It!

    A study involving cats was recently published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The study, which took place at Ohio State's Veterinary Medical Center, documented sickness behaviors in both healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis (IC), a chronic illness that causes recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often leads to both an urgent and frequent need to urinate. The study concluded what I already know as an animal communicator…..any changes in a cat’s routine (or any pet's routine for that matter) can cause stress and, with stress, comes the unwanted “sickness behaviors” that cats tend to exhibit such as refusing to eat and not using their litter box.

    I often tell my clients that pets are a lot like people. They don’t like their routines disrupted. If you are going to change an animal’s routine, I always recommend that you explain how the change is going to impact their normal routine, what you would like for them to do while their routine is being disrupted and why is it going to be a good thing for them. I have found that simply explaining things to your pets will ease their anxiety about any changes that they will need to adjust to. Now, if only they would have paid me the grant money that was used for this study. Ha! Ha!

    Find out more about this study by clicking here.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Healing Your Pets Holistically

    Many of us have taken supplements, had a massage or received adjustments from a chiropractor. But, did you know that holistic veterinarians can help your furry family members using many of the same methods? Holistic veterinarians receive the same training and have the same credentials as a traditional vet (D.V.M.) but, they continue their education by receiving certification in other areas (e.g. chiropractic, acupuncture, supplements, nutrition, massage, acupressure, etc.). Holistic veterinary medicine refers to the treatment of the whole organism rather than the treatment of individual body parts or simply the removal of symptoms. To find out more about holistic vets, the various modalities that are considered “holistic” or to find one in your area, please click on the following link to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) web site. http://www.holisticvetlist.com/

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Pet Vaccines and Titers: What You Need to Know Before Your Pet's Annual Exam

    As everyone knows, vaccinating your pet is the responsible thing to do each year as part of your pet's annual check-up. What you may not be aware of is that you may be able to have your pet vaccinated every 3 years for rabies rather than every year. Your vet would be able to tell you whether the law permits the 3 year rabies vaccine to be given to pets in your area.

    One other interesting point is that immunity provided by some vaccines lasts for much longer than one year. A great way to find out if your pet is still protected by a particular vaccine is to ask your vet to do a titer. Titers are tests that measure the level of antibodies in the blood and indicate whether immunity still exists. If you would like to read more about the 3 year rabies vaccine or about vaccine titers, please click here for dogs and here for cats.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    State-of-the-art Dog Hospital Treating Military Working Dogs

    Holland Military Working Dog Hospital, located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas cares for the health needs of more than 2,000 working dogs currently serving in the military, the Transportation Safety Board (TSA), the US Customs Service and other government agencies. The hospital was named for Lt. Col. Daniel E. Holland, a veterinarian killed in Iraq in 2006.

    Approximately 60 dogs per day are seen at the hospital for everything from regular check-ups to life-threatening emergencies. Many of the dogs are redeployed. But, for those that can't be, they are adopted out to loving families where they can spend the rest of their lives. The director, Col. Bob Vogelsang, was quoted in a recent article on People Pets as saying, "These dogs are veterans, too. We should be taking care of them." For more information about this amazing facility and to read the full article, please click here.

    Colorado State University Program Helps Pets Remain in Their Homes

    As you may have heard, for the elderly and disabled, it is sometimes difficult to care for a pet without the help of a friend or family member. But, what if you don't have someone nearby to help you? At Colorado State University, there’s an innovative program called Pets Forever that veterinary students can participate in. This program is helping many animals stay in their homes. In an article that I read recently, a schnauzer named Pocket was featured and was shown being given in-home treatment for his diabetes by a veterinary student. His owner, who is elderly and disabled, thought that she would have to put Pocket to sleep because she could no longer take care of him on her own. However, thanks to this program, Pocket can stay with his owner for the rest of his life and receive the care that he needs to manage his diabetes. It’s always great to read about a program that is making a positive difference for pets and their people.  If you would like to learn more about the Pets Forever program at Colorado State University, please click here. If you would like to read the full article about Pocket, please click here.

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