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Keep Your Pets Busy When the Kids Head Back to School
Got a Furry Dog? Find Out If FURminating Can Help
Better to Be Safe than Sorry: The Best Way to Travel with Pets in the Car

Keep Your Pets Busy When the Kids Head Back to School
When your kids go back to school, the family pet might not be too thrilled. Your dog or cat is used to a full-time playmate, and she may now feel lonely.

After being with the kids 24/7 all summer, some pets may suffer from separation anxiety or may feel left out of family activities that come with a new school year.

Separation anxiety can include destructive behavior that includes pacing, chewing and howling, according to the article, “Back-to-School Separation Anxiety” at First check with your vet to ensure there is no medical issue. If it is anxiety or stress, discuss with your vet.

Remember fun for your pet doesn’t have to stop when school starts. You can get in on it, too. The article offers the following ideas:

• Doggy daycare including supervised play and exercise.
• Exercise your dog with a long morning walk.
• Keep your dog or cat feeling important and spend quality time together.
• Occupy your dog with a peanut butter-stuffed Kong.

According to the article, “5 Fun Things to Do with Your Dog When the Kids Go Back to School,” at, perk up your pets with the following:

• Introduce a new chew toy or a puzzle toy “that will encourage him to look for hidden goodies.”
• When you teach your dog something new, it actually helps alleviate boredom. Teach some basic tricks. Or get bold and try an agility course.
• Calming music soothes the soul and has been known to help relax people and dogs.

Ensure that your children make quality time for pets even if it’s a little bit after school. “Whether you’re going on long walks, taking trips to the dog park, or even just relaxing on the couch, do whatever your dog loves best,” the article said.

Got a Furry Dog? Find Out If FURminating Can Help
If you have a furry dog who sheds a lot, different seasons can mean extra hair. You’ve tried everything from daily brushing to frequent trips to the groomer for professional comb-outs. But that hair!

Shedding is natural for dogs and “non-shedding is a misconception,” according to the article, “Dealing With Springtime Shedding,” at

What about FURminating? Sometimes groomers offer the service as an add-on to your dog’s regular grooming. FURminating your dog helps to control the shedding. “You use short strokes in the direction of the grain of hair and work through the entire coat with it,” the article said, helping to release the undercoat on your dog.

FURminating also can be used for cats. While it’s not for every pet, there are many plusses as long as you do it correctly.

According to the article, “How to Use a FURminator deShedding Tool,” at, the following tips can help:

• Start with a dry coat
• Remove mats and tangles prior to FURminating. “If you can’t get them out, don’t try to use the FURminator to do so,” the Petful article said.
• Avoid areas with bruises or injuries.
• Remove burrs and other foreign objects before starting.
• Begin going head to tail in the same direction as the coat.
• Gentle, long strokes do the trick as well as moving the brush up and away from the skin. Remove hair from the teeth as you go along.
• Be careful around ears, stomach, genital areas and legs.
• Do not brush from tail to head.
• Do not use a lot of pressure and don’t cause pain.
• Don’t use in excess in one particular area.

Remember to clean your FURminator after use and properly store it away. It is also important not to use it on dogs or cats who do not shed much.

Better to Be Safe than Sorry: The Best Way to Travel with Pets in the Car
We’ve all seen cars drive by with dogs hanging out the window. Or the driver with a dog in their lap. There’s also the cringeworthy: the dog unsecured in the back of a pickup truck. So, what is the safest way for pets to travel in a vehicle?

According to the article, “Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train,” at
The Humane Society of the United States, dogs are safest in a crate that is anchored with a seatbelt or something similar that secures it. “Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash,” the article said. Cats should travel in a restrained carrier.

Crates or carriers should allow your pet enough room to stand and sit as well as lie down. It should be well ventilated, according to the ASPCA article, “Travel Safety Tips.” If you don’t use a crate, never allow your dog to roam around inside the vehicle. “…and always keep him in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.”

While there are a handful of safety measures, Petful’s article, “Shockingly Few Pet Restraints Actually Passed Crash Tests. THESE Did,” is an eye-opener as it discusses the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) and its findings. In the U.S. there are no test protocols when it comes to substantiating manufacturers claims of crates and carriers, CPS said. This article lists the following as best performers according to CPS crash tests:

• Crate: Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps
• Carrier: Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier
• Harness: Sleepypod Clickit Utility

Do your homework to help keep your pets safe.

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The Dangers of Leaving Your Dogs Outside During the Hot Summer Months
Make Sure Your Pets Are Safe in and Around the Swimming Pool
What Declawing Your Cat Truly Means and Why You Should Think Twice

The Dangers of Leaving Your Dogs Outside During the Hot Summer Months
The summer months in Arizona are just plain hot and can be unbearable. Most people spend the summer going from air-conditioned home to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned workplace. Staying outdoors for too long can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. So, imagine what it’s like for dogs who are left outside for too long.

It is important not to keep your dog outside 24/7. It’s easy to have a dog if you have a home and a yard. “However, some dog guardians use the yard as a crutch, and, before you know it, the backyard becomes Phydeau’s entire world,” according to the article, “How Much Should You Keep Your Dog Outdoors?” at “How much is too much of a good thing?”

Remember that dogs are social animals and need to be with their pack – their humans. Being outside leads to “social isolation,” the article said, which can lead to “excessive barking and howling in an attempt to reunite his pack.”

Dogs are also susceptible to sunburn, skin cancer and heatstroke. Factors such as high temperatures, bad ventilation, limited availability of water and humidity can all lead to overheating, according to the post, “What temperature is too hot for dogs to be left outside?” at Vet Depot.

“When the temperature exceeds about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, heat must be dissipated by evaporation,” the Vet Depot post stated. “This means sweating in humans, horses and cows, and panting in dogs. Cats are relatively resistant to heatstroke.”

Even though your dog may have access to water, shade and a ventilated area, it’s oftentimes safest to bring him inside during the hottest times of the day where there is air conditioning. Keep your dog safe, cool and indoors with you, where he wants to be, especially since he’s a part of the family!

Make Sure Your Pets Are Safe in and Around the Swimming Pool
It’s summer and everyone wants to make a splash in the pool. What about your pets? Do you have a dog or cat who loves the water (yes, there are some cats who do!). You may have a pet who is hesitant about swimming. It’s important to ensure pets are safe around the pool and to prevent accidents.

Many people assume that all dogs love the water and can swim. However, that’s not the case. According to the article, “Your Dogs and Pool Safety” at, keep the following in mind:

• “Never throw a dog into the pool; he may panic and not be able to climb the slick sides to get out of the pool,” the article said.
• For dogs who are great swimmers, things change with age, dogs get weaker, and they may be “more prone to slipping and falling into a pool.”
• The sun is more intense around the pool so your dog is more prone to overheating.
• Chlorine can make your dog sick and her eyes irritated.

The first chance you get, start to teach your dog (or cat) how to swim. If you need help, try a trainer. “They are more than equipped to handle your pooch’s fear of water and teach him or her a few swimming basics,” according to the article, “Five Pool Safety Tips for Dogs,” at For dogs not fond of the water, buy a doggy life vest for safety, and never leave your dog alone at the pool. It’s a good idea to learn dog CPR in case of emergencies. Check your local shelters for classes. You can fence your pool ensuring your dog can’t get near it if you turn your back.

Love your pets and allow them to enjoy their fun in the sun along with you.

What Declawing Your Cat Truly Means and Why You Should Think Twice
There is a lot of controversy around the subject of declawing cats and with good reason. Declawing is not just simply trimming a cat’s nails; it’s much more involved, serious and often deemed inhumane. If you are thinking of declawing your cat, it is important to get as much information as you can.

Oftentimes, people look to declawing because their cat might scratch furniture and other items in the home causing damage. Firstly, when cats scratch, it is perfectly normal. “It isn’t done to destroy a favorite chair or to get even,” according to the article, “Declawing cats: Far worse than a manicure” at The Humane Society of the United States. “Cats scratch to remove the dead husks from their claws, mark territory, and stretch their muscles.”

In many European countries, declawing is illegal and deemed “inhumane.” It involves serious surgery and is extremely painful. According to an article written by Veterinarian, Dr. Christianne Schelling at, “Your cat’s claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your cat’s claw has to be removed.” Recuperation takes time and your cat will still have to use the litter box and scratch no matter the pain he experiences.

If an indoor cat ever escapes, declawing can pose a lot of danger as claws are the way cats defend themselves.

You can keep your cat healthy and happy and your furnishings intact by starting to train early, place scratching posts throughout the home, trim your cat’s nails or even try temporary pads for cat claws. Your cat will thank you, and you’ll feel better for doing the humane thing.

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Breed Discrimination and What It Means for Dogs and Owners
The Benefits of Fostering a Pet
How TNR Helps the Feral Cats in Neighborhoods

Breed Discrimination and What It Means for Dogs and Owners
Dog lovers should be aware of the acronym BSL, or breed-specific legislation. It is specific to certain types of dogs, discriminating based on appearance and a perception of being dangerous.

According to the article, “Ending dog breed discrimination against pit bull terriers and other dogs,” at, BSL is not a correct term in that the “laws target dogs not because they are a specific breed, but because someone thinks they may look like a certain breed. And even if dogs may look alike, it doesn’t mean they will behave the same way.”

It is assumed that certain breeds “are more prone to attacking and biting, though this is a misconception,” the article said. The most affected breed of BSL is the “pit bull” terrier. By spreading inaccuracies of a breed, fear is easily spread to the public. Hence, “BSL is often enacted to ease fears over public safety, but these laws are ineffective and very costly.”

Although pit bulls have been singled out, other affected breeds include American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, German shepherds, etc., including dogs resembling these breeds, according to the article, “Breed-Specific Legislation,” at the

“There is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals,” the ASPCA article said. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has opposed the legislation following an in-depth study of fatalities that resulted from dog bites.

There are numerous consequences of BSL, the ASPCA article said. Those who suffer include:

• Dogs whose owners may attempt to “hide” their dogs.
• Owners who may be unable to find housing.
• The public whereby the laws, “compromise rather than enhance public safety.”

Alternatives to BSL include enforcement of dog license laws, better availability of low-cost spay/neuter, and breed-neutral laws that focus on individual dogs and their guardians.

The Benefits of Fostering a Pet
Pet fostering is kind and selfless, but what exactly is it?

Fostering provides essential “temporary care to shelter animals who, for a variety of reasons, need to live in a home environment prior to adoption,” according to the article, “What is pet fostering?” at

Shelters and rescue organizations are often overcrowded and in need of temporary homes until permanent placement is found for animals who have been:

• Abandoned
• Lost
• Relinquished
• Abused

A temporary foster home “helps relieve overcrowding and reduces an animal’s stress by providing a temporary and supportive sanctuary while it awaits permanent adoption,” the article said.

Additionally, for people in emergency situations fostering provides a temporary place to house their pets. “And deploying military personnel may need temporary yet long-term pet care if they don’t have friends or family members who are able to make a commitment for the duration of their deployments,” the article said.

After you decide to foster, make sure to buy everything the pet will need, according to the article “So, You Want to Become a Pet Foster Parent?” at “In some cases this may be provided for you, but it’s always good to prepare yourself in case there are no materials or reimbursement included.”

Make inquiries with shelters to decide which organizations need fosters. If you already have pets, be sure to consider them as well. “Introducing a new animal or species can be confusing or spark a territory war between existing pets, so the shelter’s recommendation of keeping a separate area for your foster pet is an important one,” the Petful article said.

In the end, you will have helped an animal before she goes to a permanent home, or you may become one of many “foster failures” who end up adopting the pet yourself. Either way, it’s a win-win.

How TNR Helps the Feral Cats in Neighborhoods
You may have seen free-roaming cats in and around your neighborhood, and you are not alone. Sometimes, the cats you see have owners who allow them to roam, sometimes they are lost, and oftentimes they are feral or free-roaming cats living in communities.

In order to keep the free-roaming cat population down, there is TNR, or Trap-Neuter-Return.

TNR is humane, safe and effective. “TNR improves the lives of cats, addresses community concerns, reduces complaints about cats, and stops the breeding cycle,” according to the article, “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) saves lives” at Alley Cat Allies. Across the country, many cities are implementing TNR, which enables humans and these outdoor cats to co-exist, the article said. The programs help to stabilize these cat populations.

According to the article, the TNR program is one where

• Community cats are trapped humanely using box traps.
• Cats are then brought to a veterinarian for spay/neuter.
• The cats are vaccinated and ear-tipped, which is “the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated.”
• Cats are then returned to the outdoor area where they live.

This management technique to help free-roaming homeless cats “is a humane, non-lethal alternative to the trap-and-kill method of controlling cat populations,” according to the article, “Frequently Asked Questions About TNR,” at

People throughout the country volunteer to provide food, shelter and water for these cats. Some kittens and friendlier cats are sometimes able to be taken from colonies, socialized and actually placed in homes. That coupled with the end of breeding is extremely effective.

“In the long term, TNR lowers the numbers of cats in the community more effectively than trap-and-kill,” according to Other benefits include the promotion of public health due to vaccinated cats, improving lives of the cats due to sterilization and reducing admission to shelters.