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20 09, 2019

5 Common Autumn Dangers for Pets and Parents

By |2019-07-29T18:13:17-06:00September 20th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

When most pet parents think of dangerous weather, summer or winter come to mind. Very rarely do the mild, temperate seasons present natural threats to pup safety. But even though temperatures are more pleasant, and paws are more easily protected, autumn brings a few of its own dangers to pet parents across the country. Some might seem obvious, and some would never have crossed your mind. Here are five common health hazards for Fido and friends.

  1. Acorns and Oak Leaves. Autumn has some of the best dog walking weather you’ll ever experience, but be wary of what’s lying on the ground. You’ll see plenty of acorns and dead oak leaves on the sidewalks, but be sure to avoid them. If your dog ingests anything, it can be fatal. These small nuts and leaves can severely impact your pup’s gastrointestinal health, and if your dog has kidney disease, the acids in acorns can further aggravate the condition. Pets that have consumed any part of an oak tree may have bloody diarrhea, which is often a sign of renal failure. If you suspect your dog ate several leaves or acorns, bring them to the veterinarian.
  • Mushrooms. To be fair, mushrooms seem to appear almost year-round. But falling leaves rot in tepid autumn heat, which creates a breeding ground for some pretty gnarly fungus. Keep an eye on your dog when she’s playing in leaves, and be sure to look for hidden mushrooms and spores. If your pet eats a mushroom, bring them to the veterinarian immediately, even if you don’t know what type they consumed. Common signs of poisoning include excessive drooling, dry heaving, and difficulty standing and/or walking.
  • Ticks. Ticks are out in warm weather, but autumn has its own special threat: fallen leaves. Ticks stick to leaves when the fall to the ground, meaning that pile of yard clippings could be teeming with little insects. Check Fido for ticks after every walk, thoroughly checking between his toes and inside their ears, nose, and gum flaps. If a tick isn’t removed within 24 hours, the likelihood of transmitting a virus multiplies. 
  • Antifreeze. When temperatures begin to drop at the end of autumn, antifreeze can become a real problem for pet parents. Radiators from cars may leak or break, leaving fluid on the ground and in area easily accessible to pets. The liquid smells and tastes sweet, making it an ingestion hazard. If your dog doesn’t eat it on the spot, he might step it in and accidentally lick it off later. If you suspect your pet has antifreeze poisoning, go to the vet immediately.
  • Halloween candy. This might be the most obvious addition to this list, but it deserves to be mentioned. Autumn brings great weather and a fun time, but that means chocolate and other sweets become available in large quantities. Though fun for us, these foods are toxic to most animals. If you have pets around, be sure to keep an eye on the treats in case one happens to fall on the floor.
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10 09, 2019

Managing Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies

By |2019-08-21T10:17:42-06:00September 10th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

For some people, severe allergy seasons bookend summer. If you’re not affected by pollen in the spring, autumnal ragweed will probably cause a runny nose. If that doesn’t get you, some types of mold, which flourish in the warm, wet weather of early autumn, will probably do the trick.

When people have allergies, they take over-the-counter medication and wait it out. However, most pet parents don’t know that dogs can also have seasonal allergies. If you’re not looking for them, you might miss the symptoms, resulting in an uncomfortable autumn for most pups.

Allergies don’t always manifest in dogs as they do people. Your pet won’t likely sneeze or have runny eyes. More commonly, they’ll scratch, lick, and chew their skin, which can cause hair loss, sores, and secondary skin infections. This happens when allergens are inhaled, creating skin issues from inside your pet. Itchy skin, ears, and recurrent ear infections are tell-tale signs of seasonal allergies.

So, what do you when autumn allergy season is just around the corner and Fido is starting to scratch? Plenty of management strategies exist. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

  • Visit your veterinarian. This one might seem obvious, but some pet parents need the extra push. If your pet has mild, seasonal symptoms, symptomatic medications are probably all they need. Mild anti-itch shampoos, antihistamines, and steroids can do wonders for your pet’s comfort and happiness. Just be sure to visit the vet before making any decisions.
  • Up your bath count. While most seasonal reactions are caused by inhaling allergens, pollen and ragweed can settle into your pup’s fur. This exacerbates their allergies. To prevent against this, give your dog a bath at least once a week. If the scratching has already begun, be sure to use an anti-itch shampoo.
  • Minimize travel. If you know your dog has a history of seasonal allergies, try not to schedule trips and vacations with her in autumn. You never know what regional allergens exist until the symptoms appear with full force. Plus, you don’t want to subject Fido to hours of uncomfortable travel while they’re experiencing allergies, especially if the travel carrier is too small to let them itch.
  • Get an allergy test. Yes, they exist for dogs. Knowing the specific culprit can help pet parents minimize exposure to allergens and reduce the anima’s symptoms. When you understand the cause, you can get a better, more specific solution. This is also a great option if you’ve noticed a sudden onset of symptoms with no discernable cause. Talk to your vet about getting a test done.

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27 08, 2019

How to Reduce Anxiety for Your Pets

By |2019-08-26T20:00:54-06:00August 27th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Image by pexels 

Guest Post by Elise Morgan

Pets experience anxiety the same way as human beings. However, unlike people, dogs use body language to communicate their level of anxiety. Traveling with a dog that has car anxiety can be quite dangerous. To help your dog,  you should first understand what triggers the car-anxiety.

Dogs can display signs and symptoms such as a tucked tail, fidgeting, avoidance of eye contact, and hiding depending on the level of anxiety. The common signs of anxiety also include increased pacing, increased salivation, trembling or shaking, hyper-vigilance, lip licking, frequent yawning, and decreased appetite. To improve the human-pet relation with your dog, you must learn how to calm your anxious dog. If you ever notice a repetition of any unusual behavior, you should seek professional advice from an animal veterinary or a certified animal behaviorist.

Why Pets can Sometimes be Anxious

Causes of anxiety in different dogs vary because every dog displays diverse signs and symptoms. You should learn to recognize the stress signals from your dog to understand what causes anxiety for your pet. Here are the common reasons why your pet can sometimes be anxious.

New Environment

Dogs that are prone to carsickness always anticipate the travel with anxiety. Either the car environment or the anticipated destination triggers this anxiety. The dread and fear of traveling—if you have a routine of going to the veterinarian in your car, for example—can induce stress and anxiety. A dog’s anxiety may also be triggered by car sounds such as those produced when you drive over rumple strips.

Separation Anxiety

Some dogs are fond of each other or even attached to their owners. If you sleep with your dog, it experiences the cuddly consequence of human-pet intimacy. Your dog gets used to comfort and companionship whenever you are around. However, once you sell puppies, separate dogs, or let go of your favorite pet, it is highly likely that the dog will suffer from separation anxiety. Be keen to notice separation anxiety symptoms such as chewing or digging furniture, howling, and frequent pacing or even using the bathroom inside the house. The dog tends to act out while you are away.

Pet History

Pet history could cause anxiety if the rescued dog had a bad experience with other dogs or even the previous owner. Such dog depicts anxiety signals whenever they are exposed to anxiety triggers. For example, a dog that had an awful experience with lagers dogs will start trembling in the presence of such dogs.

Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Your Pets

Even though it is difficult to know if your dog’s anxiety may develop into anxiety-related severe problems and severe disorders, the following tips can help you predict and calm your puppy or dog:

Determine the Cause of the Anxiety

Learn to read the body language of your canine friend to determine the things that trigger their anxiety. Only then you can know how to avoid the negative experiences that cause anxieties such as aggression-related anxiety.

Make Sure You are Getting Enough Play Time with Your Dog

Enough socialization and play with your dog can to get out their energy and prevent the development of anxiety. Play also enhance mental, and physical well-being of your dog

The Bottom Line: Dog Anxiety

Dog anxiety is common just like human anxiety. Understanding causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dog anxiety can help you prepare for these situations ahead of time. Such essential facets can also help you prevent situations that trigger your dog’s anxiety.

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21 08, 2019

Through Your Dog’s Golden Years: How to Properly Care for a Senior Dog

By |2019-08-21T10:42:54-06:00August 21st, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

If you have been together with your dog for a long time, then your canine companion has probably been one of the most important parts of your life for most of this period. You might have noticed that your dog has been acting differently lately. They might be tiring out more quickly or they are not eating as much.

Don’t panic! Your dog is most likely still healthy and happy. All of these signs are just a natural part of their aging process, and it’s most likely that they are starting to enter their senior years.

How do I Know if my Dog is a Senior Dog?

Unlike in humans, there is no single standard age where a dog can be considered a senior. For dogs, the general age to be considered a “senior” is around seven to ten years. However, the size of the dog does matter: large breeds tend to age more rapidly compared to small breeds. A Great Dane, for example, would be considered a senior dog at around seven years old, but a Pomeranian will only be considered a senior once they reach around ten or eleven years old.

Signs that a Dog is a Senior

As with their age in years, the signs that signify aging in dogs can vary from one breed to another, and indeed, one dog to another. However, there are general signs that you might want to look out for, such as:

  • Eating Pattern and Weight Gain: Senior dogs tend to eat a lot less and a lot more slowly compared to younger dogs since they are not as active. You might also notice that they are gaining weight more quickly compared to when they were younger.
  • Drinking and Peeing: Many senior dogs tend to drink a lot less as well, however, they start to have trouble with their bladder control. You might notice that your dog, who hasn’t peed in the house since they were housetrained, has recently started to have accidents even while they are sleeping.
  • Sleeping Frequency: As with humans, senior dogs tend to sleep a lot more compared to when they were younger. They also tend to look for cool, dark, and quiet places, even if they didn’t mind sleeping in the middle of a noisy and crowded living room when they were younger.
  • Cognitive Health: Senior dogs are prone to canine dementia. You might notice that they’re not responding as quickly to an external stimulus, or they start to bump into things more often, or they might even look like they’re getting lost inside their own home.

How can I Take Care of my Senior Dog Properly?

Given that your dog is now approaching their twilight years, it is important that you give them the right level of care and attention to make their remaining years as safe and comfortable as possible. Luckily for you, an online dog care guide for senior dogs isn’t hard to find.

If your dog isn’t sick, the best way to care for them during their senior years is simply to increase the level of your care and attention a little bit! Where you once scheduled vet checkups once a year, maybe make it twice or even thrice a year now. Where you were not as discerning with their dog food (most store-bought brands are fine for middle-aged dogs), you might want to consider investing in senior-care dog food that’s high in good fatty acids.

There are generally three areas of your senior dog’s life that you want to focus on: their health, their nutritional intake, and their level of exercise. Aside from more frequent and regular vet checkups, you should also inspect your dog now and again. Look for any symptoms that are common in older dogs, such as cataracts (cloudy eyes), arthritis (joint pain), or even bumps in the skin that can signify more serious diseases such as cancer.

When it comes to your dog’s food intake, make sure that you are feeding them the right kind of dog food and in the right amount. Senior dogs generally don’t need dog food in the same amount as their younger counterparts, but they do need dogfood that’s fortified with vitamins and fatty acids.

Finally, when it comes to exercise, when senior dogs love to exercise. Just keep a closer eye on them during walks to see if they are getting tired and need a break. They might also be feeling pain in their joints or paws, so you might need to slow down or shorten your walks.

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2 08, 2019

How to Safely Remove a Tick in a Pet

By |2019-06-25T19:47:17-06:00August 2nd, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Ticks are both a daily nuisance and an extreme danger for all pets who spend time outside. Whether you’re going for a walk near your home or traveling out of state for some outdoor adventure, these little bugs are hazardous. If you do find a tick on your pet, it is essential to remove it correctly. Any contact with a tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your animal or, in some cases, to you. Plus, improperly removing one of these pests can result in breaking the insect apart, leaving the head inside your animal’s skin. You’ll want to remove the insect as quickly as possible, but you’ll need to carefully follow instructions to reduce possible harm. We’ve included a step-by-step guide to safely removing a tick.

Step 1: Put on latex or rubber gloves to you do not have contact with the tick or the bite area. Keep a screw-top jar full of rubbing alcohol nearby, and if possible, enlist a partner to help distract and soothe the animal during the removal process.

Step 2: Using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the animal’s skin as possible. Pull straight upwards with even, steady pressure. When the tick comes loose, place it in the jar. This will allow you to bring it to the veterinarian for testing in case the insect transmitted any disease to your pet. During the removal process, be sure to not twist or jerk the tick; this could leave parts of the insect inside the pet, and the tick could regurgitate infecting fluids.

Step 3: Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the bite area, then wash your hands with soap and water. Remember to sterilize your tweezers with alcohol or by carefully running them over a flame. Remember to never squeeze or crush the tick, as the insect’s fluids may contain infective organisms.

Step 4: Monitor the bite area over the next few weeks for any signs of infection, such as redness or inflammation. If you suspect an infection, bring your pet – and the jarred tick – to the veterinarian for evaluation.

The best way to protect your dog from tick bites is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Many products on the market for flea treatment can also kill ticks. If you’re interested, speak to your veterinarian about the best product for your pet. Dog owners can also ensure a tick-free lawn by mowing regularly and removing weeds.

Even with the bet preparation, accidents are sometimes inevitable. If you find a tick bite on your dog, a steady removal is the best, safest thing you can do for him.

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15 07, 2019

Hot Weather Safety Tips and Recognizing Overheating in Pets

By |2019-06-25T19:43:29-06:00July 15th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

Summertime is perfect for connecting with your pets. The long, sunny days are a great opportunity for long walks, mountain adventures, and strolls along the beach, all with Fido in toe.

Unfortunately, being overeager in hot temperatures can be hazardous for our furry friends because dogs are not well-suited to extreme heat. Overheating is very dangerous for pets, and in some cases, that long, mid-day walk can mean the difference between life and death. Because of this, it is crucial that all pet owners know how to recognize signs of heatstroke, how to treat overheating in pets, and what immediate actions can save a dog’s life.

Heatstroke normally happens when animals lose their ability to regulate body temperatures. As you may know, dogs do not sweat as humans do; rather, body temperatures I regulated by respiration, such as panting. If a dog’s respiratory tract cannot clear heat quickly enough, heatstroke becomes a very real threat. Common signs of heatstroke include hyperventilation, dry gums that become pale, excessive panting, increased salivation, a rapid pulse, confusion, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, and possible rectal bleeding. Left untreated, these symptoms will grow worse and, eventually, lead to seizure or coma.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, bring them inside immediately. Use a rectal thermometer to take the animal’s temperature. A normal body temperature is at or around 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and moderate heating usually clocks in at between 103 to 104 degrees. Severe heating is anything beyond 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature is in this danger zone, bring them to the veterinarian or the nearest emergency center immediately.

In the meantime, you can reduce your dog’s temperature by putting cool, wet towels on his neck, under his armpits, and between his hind legs. If you can, you should also wet his ear flaps and paw pads with cool water. Give your dog fresh, cool drinking water, and ensure he is comfortable for the ride to the doctor.

So, how do you prevent heatstroke in animals? As it turns out, it’s a fairly simple task.

  • Provide plenty of fresh, cool water. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, and this is exacerbated when temperatures rise.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle. Temperatures in an unairconditioned car can rise rapidly.
  • Never shave your dog. The layers of a dog’s coat can protect them from overheating and sunburn and removing the coat will decrease the ability to regulate their body temperature.
  • Don’t let your pet linger on hot asphalt. Keeps walks on grass or gravel whenever possible and limit all time on pavement. Hot sidewalks and roads can burn sensitive paw pads.

Additionally, animals with flat faces, like pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. Similarly, older, overweight, and pets with heat and lung diseases should be kept in cool, air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

If you’re traveling to a warmer part of the world, keep in mind that some airlines and airports put restrictions on pet travel when temperatures rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This will usually apply to animals traveling as cargo. If you’re concerned about your upcoming trip, check our airlines guides for company-specific restrictions.

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