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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.

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Senior Pets and Health Issues and What You Can Do
How to Keep Your Pets Safe from Parasites
Do You Know Where Your Puppy Came From?

Senior Pets and Health Issues and What You Can Do
We love our senior pets. Whether you’ve had your pet his entire life or adopted him as an older pet, there’s nothing quite like a senior. As in humans, when pets age sometimes health issues follow.

Our pets age quicker than we do. Better care is available nowadays and “pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention,” according to the article, “Senior Pets” at the American Veterinary Medical Association (

As with humans, pets turn gray, move slower, lose some sight and hearing with age. You may notice that your pet avoids regular activity such as running, which could be due to arthritis, so keep your pet at a healthy weight and check with your vet.

The following are behavior changes your pet may experience due to cognitive dysfunction, according to the AVMA article:

• Disturbed easily by loud noises
• Unusual aggressiveness
• Increased meowing/barking
• Nervousness and anxiety
• Disoriented or confused
• Accidents in the home (i.e., urination)
• Grouchy, irritable
• No interest in playing

According to the article, “Senior Pets and Health Issues,” at, there are other common conditions as your pet ages.

“Kidney disease also commonly affects older pets, particularly cats,” the Best Friends article said. Check with your vet if your pet starts drinking more water, loses weight, becomes lethargic, vomits or gets mouth ulcers.

Cancer is not uncommon in older pets. Watch for lumps and bumps and “have them checked by your vet annually,” the Best Friends article said. “If your pet starts losing weight or has a marked lack of energy or appetite, cancer screening tests and an exam by your vet are recommended.”

Senior pets can live long and happy lives. Keep them healthy and make sure they see the vet for checkups.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe from Parasites
It’s not something most people want to think about let alone talk about when it comes to their cat or dog. However, the issue of parasites is important, especially when it comes to prevention and keeping your pet healthy and you, as well, as some can be transmitted to humans.

“It is fairly common for a dog or cat to become infected with an internal or external parasite at some point in its lifetime,” according to the article, “Pets, Parasites and People” at The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website. If left untreated, symptoms can range from irritation to life-threatening conditions.

From vector-borne diseases, which are transmitted by fleas and ticks, to internal parasites such as worms, ensure that prevention is in place, according to the article.

Intestinal parasites typically refer to roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms, according to the article, “Intestinal Worms in Dogs and Cats” at Vets typically check stool samples to detect worms.

According to the petMD article, some symptoms of worms are:

• Diarrhea, possibly bloody
• Weight loss
• Vomiting, that may include worms

Early detection will enable your dog or cat to be dewormed immediately. Your vet “will have the best kinds of wormers available for the particular type of parasite your pet has.”

Heartworms are also very dangerous to dogs and cats and “can kill or seriously debilitate pets that are infected with them,” the CAPC article said. It can be detected by a blood test. “A year-round preventive program is most effective to keep pets free of heartworms.”

Prevention is critical. According to the CAPC article, “Responsible pet parasite control can reduce the risks associated with transmission of parasitic diseases from pets to people.” Good personal hygiene, year-round preventative treatments, and regular annual testing by your vet are a good start.

Do You Know Where Your Puppy Came From?
The week of May 7-12 is Puppy Mill Action Week and the perfect time to stand up for dogs.

What is a puppy mill?

“Many people don’t realize that when they buy a dog from a pet store or on the Internet, that dog most likely came from a puppy mill, a ‘factory farm’ for dogs,” according to the article, “Puppy Mills” at “In puppy mills, dogs live in small cages, often in the minimum legal size allowed (only six inches larger than the dog on all sides) and female dogs are bred as frequently as possible.”

The government standards that regulate breeders and these facilities (roughly 10,000 in the U.S.) are minimal and do not ensure the dogs’ health. “The standards set by the government aren’t meant to ensure that the dogs have the good lives they deserve; they only require the bare minimum of care,” the article said.

Breeding is purely for profit and dogs are kept in inhumane conditions. “These dogs don’t receive any affection, exercise or proper veterinary care,” according to the article, “Puppy Mills 101,” at the Dogs who cannot produce more litters are discarded, the article said.

Puppy mill dogs are sold at various places including pet stores and through the Internet, the article said.

According to, here are ways to help:

• Refrain from buying a puppy (or cat) from a pet store, the Internet or Craigslist.
• Teach others about puppy mills to spread the word.
• Adopt your next pet.

“About 1.5 million animals are killed in U.S. shelters annually, simply because they don’t have homes,” the article said. “When you adopt, you’re not only refusing to support puppy mills, you’re saving a life and giving an animal in need the second chance he or she deserves.”