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.