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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.”

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There’s a Reason Adoption is the Best Option When it Comes to Pets
How to Find the Right Trainer for You and Your Dog
Puzzles and Games Help Pets Break Free from Boredom or Anxiety

There’s a Reason Adoption is the Best Option When it Comes to Pets
You’re ready to get a new pet and bring him into your home. You can adopt a pet from a shelter or local animal rescue, or buy one from a store or breeder. So, what’s best?

There’s many reasons to adopt instead of buy. Here are some to make you think and help you make the right decision.

When you adopt a pet, you actually save a life, according to the article, “Top Reasons to Adopt a Pet” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) website. “Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet,” the article said. Adoption helps reduce the number of those having to be euthanized.

According to the HSUS article, other reasons include:

• Numerous happy and healthy pets are waiting for a great home.
• Adoption costs typically include spay/neuter, vaccinations and sometimes a microchip.
• Many shelter pets come housetrained.
• You can “feel proud about helping an animal in need!” the HSUS article said.

The cost of buying a pet from a breeder or pet store can be pretty high, from “$500 to $1,000 or more,” according to the article, “Reasons to Adopt a Pet” at Other reasons include:

• Rescue groups often know some history of the pet, according to the Best Friends article, and can “help you through the familiarization period because they are invested in providing a good home for that animal.”
• Adoption means you’re saving an actual life.
• When you adopt, you can choose from puppies to seniors or kittens to older cats. There’s an adoptable pet for everyone.

You will get back tenfold when you adopt a rescue animal who will be forever grateful to you.

How to Find the Right Trainer for You and Your Dog
You have a new puppy who needs some training, or maybe your older dog needs some extra help. You need a professional dog trainer, but how do you find the right one?

According to the article, “8 Tips For Choosing A Good Dog Trainer” at, “dog training isn’t cheap and you don’t want to waste your money or your time.” The article offers the following tips:

• Check for a trainer’s certification. Although it’s not actually necessary, “it’s best to look for those that have taken the time and money to become a true professional through schooling and/or certification,” the article said.
• Ensure your chosen trainer is up on the latest techniques.
• Ask about methods used and make sure the trainer explains things clearly.
• Ensure that you feel comfortable with the methods.
• Do your own research about the latest in training techniques.
• Ask the trainer if you can watch a class to assess the work.
• You and your dog should be comfortable with the trainer.

Additionally, make sure the dogs in a training class are having fun, according to the article, “How to Find a Good Dog Trainer,” at A good training class will welcome family members to attend. Location is important as well. “Gates and doors should be latched and closed,” the article said. “The floors should be free of debris, and supplies should be provided for clean-up.”

Make sure the tools being used include head halters, toys, harnesses, and that the trainer uses lots of praising. “Tools you don’t want to see include electronic collars, prong collars, choke collars and flexi-leads,” the Petfinder article said. Also make sure there is no physical punishment whatsoever.

Remember that the right trainer will always make sure your pet is safe and that your pet’s health comes first.

Puzzles and Games Help Pets Break Free from Boredom or Anxiety
All dogs are not created equal. Just like people, each dog is different with a distinct personality. There also are pets who get bored easily while others suffer from separation anxiety. For these dogs you can help … with puzzles!

Some dogs who are bored “invent their own entertainment,” according to the article, “10 of the Best Interactive Puzzles and Games for Your Bored Dog” at This Dog’s Life. That can sometimes mean dogs chewing things, such as shoes or clothes or getting into the garbage.

Games and puzzles can help keep your dog out of the garbage and into something stimulating.

“Different personalities and breeds may dictate the most successful puzzle or game choice,” the article said. “While some of these are safe for home-alone activity, most toys require supervision while your dog is using them.” The following can help:

• Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball is durable but soft with no sharp openings. “Your dog rolls the ball around, and the treats fall out,” the article said. It’s great for “tough chewers” and is quiet.
• Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Dog Toy is two treats in one. It is a treat puzzle and real puzzle. “Your dog has to slide open compartments, flip levers, and lift out cones (they can’t be knocked over) to get at the treats,” the article said.

“The ubiquitous Classic Kong is a great beginner puzzle toy to ease your dog into using their problem-solving skills,” according to the article, “6 Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs: Keep Spot Engaged!” at K9 of Mine. Fill up the Kong with kibble or peanut butter, and be sure to watch over your dog as he plays and gets to the treat inside.

Remember, it’s always best to supervise your dog with puzzles that might pose a choking hazard.

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When holidays come around there are people who like to decorate with a theme or color. Take St. Patrick’s Day, which is a great day to wear green. You can dress your dog in a green sweater, if he likes to wear clothes. However, some people may have taken things too far by dyeing their pet’s fur, and it is causing a lot of uproar.


In a news story posted this past January, a 5-pound Maltese mix named Violet in Florida suffered horrific burns after her hair was dyed, according to the article, “Dog nearly dies from severe burns caused by human hair dye,” at


A Pinellas County animal services team said the dog “was dyed with a purple hair dye that was intended for humans,” according to the article. “As a result, Violet’s eyes were swollen shut, she was limp and listless and she had obvious burns to her skin.” She was given fluids and pain medication. The team “gently washed as much of the chemical dye off as they could before bandaging her up.”


It was not until the team shaved off the dog’s hair that the full extent of the damage was known. The dog’s skin was coming off, and animal services was not sure if she would make it. However, after much hard work, medicine, antibiotics, IV fluids, scab removal and bandage changes “veterinarians say Violet is making a miracle recovery,” the article said, and has since been adopted into a new home.


What happened to Violet is not so out of the ordinary. Apparently dyeing dog fur has become somewhat of a fashion trend, according to the article, “Purple colored dog Fluffy & Manish Arora have outraged the Animal Activists in India I Pet News,” at A model has been walking the catwalk with her dog whose hair is dyed, and the model is catching some flak.


“Sadly social media trends are being blindly followed as the new role model in today’s day and age,” the article said. “Poor dogs are being succumbed to hair dying by the not so discerning pet owners all across the globe.”


In the article, “Dyeing your dog’s hair is a bad idea,” at, here are reasons not to dye your dog’s hair:


  • Hair dyes are for people, not for pets. “There are no hair dyes specifically made for dogs,” the article said. “Officially, there are no completely safe dyes for animals, period, as there have been no studies to show if there are any long terms effects.”
  • The health risks are not worth it as the dye gets all over the dog’s body and can get into eyes, ears, the mouth and can be extremely harmful.
  • “Psychologically, a dog cannot process what has been done because it is an extreme and unnatural process that is out of their control,” the article said.


Dogs, and other pets, are beautiful with their fur as is. Love them just the way they are.