Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

How Service Dogs Help and Bring Hope to Veterans
Free-Roaming Cats with Tipped Ears and What You Should Know
What is Bloat in Dogs and What You Can Do?

How Service Dogs Help and Bring Hope to Veterans
The bond between service dog and veteran is immeasurable. Oftentimes, after arriving back home after serving, especially those returning from a war-torn area, a veteran may have physical impairments and/or emotional issues ranging from bad dreams and flashbacks to fear and depression. Many veterans have been able to bring a service dog into their life to help with the sometimes-crippling aftereffects of war.

Service dogs differ from emotional support dogs and therapy dogs. “Service dogs help people with disabilities perform tasks, which helps the handler attain safety and independence,” according to the article, “Service Dogs: Helping Those Who Served Our Country” at Companions for Heroes. “And PTSD and psychiatric service dogs provide emotional support with people that have PTSD and other mental health conditions.”

When it comes to PTSD and service dogs, however, the Veteran’s Administration at this time “does not necessarily endorse their use,” according to the article, “Service Dogs for Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” at AMA Journal of Ethics.

Service dogs are not considered pets but rather working dogs. Because they have specialized status, the Companion for Heroes article said, they are allowed to go most places that the veteran goes, which includes restaurants and grocery stories. Their status is protected by federal and state laws as well, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) breaks down where they are allowed.

Service dogs go through very specialized training but also continue to be friends with their veteran; they are a team.

There are a variety of programs nationwide that train service dogs for veterans. The mission of PatriotPaws “is to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence.”

Free-Roaming Cats with Tipped Ears and What You Should Know
Have you seen any community cats in your neighborhood with something strange about their ears? Maybe you’ve noticed and something doesn’t seem quite right. What’s it all about?

Community cats, or feral cats, are mostly wild and live in colonies. According to the article, “A Closer Look at Community Cats,” at the, community cats are “born and raised in the wild” and typically “have been abandoned or lost and turned to wild ways in order to survive.” They should not be confused with stray cats, whom the ASPCA describes mainly as pets who have been abandoned or lost and are typically tame and OK around humans.

Oftentimes, community cats are cared for by people who manage their colonies, which begins with instituting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). With TNR, cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and returned to their colonies where a “caretaker” feeds, monitors health and provides shelter, the ASPCA article said.

In order to identify a colony cat who is spayed or neutered, ear-tipping (whereby an ear tip is snipped) is provided by a licensed veterinarian when the cat is under sedation. It is done so that future rescuers know which cats are fixed. “This is a painless and risk-free procedure,” the ASPCA article said, adding that it “identifies them as being part of a colony with a caretaker.”

Ear-tipping helps those who manage cat colonies know from a distance if a cat is spayed or neutered, according to the article, “Ear-Tipping Cats: What It Is and Why It’s Done” at

Ear-tipping “lets animal control officers know that a cat benefitted from TNR and has been seen by a veterinarian,” the Best Friends article said.

Cats whose ears have been tipped then do not have to deal with the stress of being trapped again for no reason.

What is Bloat in Dogs and What You Can Do?
Have you heard of bloat? It’s very serious and all dog parents should know about it. Dogs most affected are the larger breed dogs with deep chests, including Great Danes, Irish setters and German shepherds among others.

Bloat happens “When a dog’s stomach fills with gas,” according to the article, “Bloat in Dogs: Symptoms & Prevention” at “The expansion of the stomach puts pressure on the diaphragm, which then makes it hard for the dog to breathe.” Additionally, the dog’s stomach twists, causing shock and quick death.

“In certain instances, bloating is noted when the dog exercises immediately after eating,” the petMD article said, adding that an enlarged abdomen is the most obvious symptom. Other signs can include:

• labored breathing
• excessive drooling
• vomiting
• weak pulse
• paleness in the nose and mouth

Oftentimes, bloat follows after a dog eats a large amount of food, according to the article, “Bloat in Dogs,” at Pet Health Network. It happens fast and only your vet can determine bloat and what steps to take. “Sometimes bloat can be complicated by a deadly condition called gastric dilation/volvulus (GDV) or ‘stomach twisting.’ ”

Along with certain breeds, older dogs or those who have a family history of bloat can be at a higher risk. Because food is a major part of bloat, it is important “to keep your dog’s food under wraps to prevent accidental gorging,” the Pet Health Network article stated. Although there are no real ways to prevent bloat or GDV, the article said to talk to your vet to see if the following tips can help:

• Feed smaller meals more often
• Offer smaller amounts of water more often
• Limit exercise right after eating
• Keep your dog away from garbage or unknown food sources

Most important, if you suspect bloat, call your vet immediately.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

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.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

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.