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What’s Good For You Isn’t Always Right for Your Pet

Our pets mean the world to us. They make us happy; they make us whole. It is easy to get carried away with how much love we want to give. But it’s imperative that we keep them safe at all times. Sometimes we don’t realize all the poisonous things our dogs and cats can get into just around our own homes. There’s no better time to remind us of prevention tips than in March, Poison Prevention Awareness Month. From plants and household cleaners to food and even chewing gum, your own home can be hazardous to your pet’s health. 

The ASPCA has poison prevention tips so you can keep your pets safe. The following are some important tips to alert you to what’s OK and what’s not when it comes to your furry family members: 

·         Plants are beautiful, and with spring just around the corner it’s time for lilies. Did you know that many lily plants are toxic to cats? It’s better to be safe than sorry; so check for the ones to keep away from your pets, along with other plants that can be toxic.

·         Here are some of the foods to keep away from your pet: alcoholic beverages, chocolate, avocado, macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes, yeast dough, coffee, fatty foods, onions, salt, and moldy or spoiled foods, and chewing gun containing Xylitol.

·         Say no to ibuprofen and other prescribed people meds. They can be deadly.

·         Do your research on flea-control products and their proper use, and never use one on cats that is meant for dogs and vice versa.

·         Anti-freeze can be deadly so keep it away from your pets.

·         When tending to your lawn, ensure your pets don’t get into insecticide or weed killer. Read the labels and follow directions!

A comprehensive list of products along with a 24-hour emergency line is available through the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). Stay on top of things to keep your pets safe.


Hope Springs Eternal Allergies: Get Your Pets to Stop Scratching that Itch

Coughing. Sneezing. Teary Eyes. Yep, it’s that time of year. Allergy season is upon us. However, it’s not just people who experience seasonal allergies that can start in the spring and hang on until the fall. Our pets are susceptible as well, although they often experience different symptoms. 

There are 10 signs that your dog may be suffering from allergies. Take note so you can be aware and get your dog the help and relief necessary:

1.      Itching

2.      Irritated and red skin

3.      Constant licking

4.      Rubbing face on objects

5.      Hair loss

6.      Hot spots

7.      Red and smelly ears

8.      Shaking the head

9.      Red skin

10.  Puffy eyes 

If you notice any of the above signs, it is important to take your dog to your veterinarian for a checkup to find out the cause and then discuss solutions. 

Signs to look for in cats with allergies include:

·         Scratching leading to skin conditions “due to the release of an immunoglobulin called IgE.”

·         Hair loss

·         Scabs

·         Open sores

·         Ear discharge

·         Excessive scratching 

Before you do anything, and that includes medicating with an antihistamine, stop right there! Never administer meds before consulting your veterinarian as it can prove dangerous to your cat. Your cat could also be allergic to flea saliva, but again, consult with your vet.

In all manner of treatment for your pets when it concerns allergies, defer to the experts and discuss with your veterinarian about the right plan to get your furry family member back on track and feeling better.


Make the Right Litter Go a Long Way

Right from the start cats know instinctively to do their business in a litter box. It is one of the great things that comes along with having cats. It is also important to remember that cats are finicky. How can we forget? We can’t. They remind us every day. They can even be fussy about their litter box. Keeping the perfect litter box is not only good for your feline, it is also great for you and your home, too. 

From cleanliness to location of the litter box, there’s a lot to take into consideration. Here’s some litter box tips from The Humane Society of the United States: 

1.      Location is key. The litter box doesn’t have to be in some remote, dark area. The litter box should provide privacy and convenience. Don’t place it near “noisy or heat-radiating appliances.” Never place near food or water bowls. Place a litter box on each floor of your home. If it’s behind a door, be sure the door is kept open.

2.      With all the different cat litters out there, do your research. “Fine-grained litters” are popular with cats and are softer to the touch.

3.      Forget the scented litter as it can be a turn off to many cats. “A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat.” The best thing you can do is to keep the box regularly clean.

4.      How many boxes? It depends on how many cats in the home. “The general rule of paw is one litter box for each cat in the home, plus one more.”

5.      To cover or not to cover… Some cats won’t even use a covered litter box, so give both a test run.

6.      Your cats are clean, so keep the litter box up to par. Scoop out daily. Replacing litter depends on how many felines are in the home, number of boxes and the type of litter.

7.      Never punish your cat if litter box problems arise. First things first: Rule out medical conditions with your veterinarian. 

Great litter box care equals a happy cat, and a happy home.

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Are you prepared for a disaster?

Oftentimes in the news we hear of natural disasters where people are being evacuated. From tornadoes to flash floods to wild fires, depending on where you live, disasters can happen and catch you off guard unless you are prepared.pets inside

Not only is it important to have a plan of action for the humans in your family, but what about the family pets?

Even though more agencies are considering the family pet, make sure you are prepared first. That goes for every day emergencies to natural disasters.

According to the The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there are a number of things you can do to keep you and your pet at the ready:

  1. Identification goes a long way: Pet IDs for all your pets are essential every day and in case of emergency. Ensure your family pet wears a collar with ID tags as you never know what can happen. From your pet escaping out the front door to an emergency, things can happen, so have tags with current information on your pet at all times. Have your pets microchipped. It offers an added plus. Again, ensure you register the microchip with your current information. “Put your cell phone number on your pet’s tag.It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate,” according to the HSUS.
  2. Prepare an emergency kit. From water, food, medications, litter box and leashes to harnesses and carriers, get it together and have it easily available.
  3. Do you have a place to stay with your pets in an emergency? Start researching places you can take your pet if it’s necessary. The HSUS recommends calling your local office of emergency management. Also check hotels and motels and their policies, friends, family, vets and shelters.
  4. Make arrangements with a trusted friend or family member in case you are away during an emergency so that they can take your pets until you meet up.
  5. If you have to evacuate, take your pets! According to the HSUS, “If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets.”
  6. For those who must stay home during an emergency, find the safest place to wait it out with your pets.
  7. Keep pets safe after disaster. According to the HSUS, “Your home may be a very different place after the emergency is over, and it may be hard for your pets to adjust.” Make sure your pet is safe with dogs on a leash and your cats in cat carriers and within your sight. Don’t let pets roam as it could be very dangerous.emergency

The old adage, “Better safe than sorry” rings true when it involves pets and disaster. You’ll feel much better knowing you are prepared and that your beloved furry family members are protected.

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It’s February, and it’s the month of love – Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. While you show love to your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, children, grandchildren, and your friends, make sure to show love to your pets.

How do you love your pet? Let’s find the ways.

Here are some great way to bring on the love for your dogs:

  1. Walking, hiking and day tripping: Take that extra walk with your dog. Not only will it give you both some exercise to help you keep fit, your dog will love you for the extra dose of getting out to smell the roses, or the other dogs. Go that extra mile and take a hike with your dog. Many dogs love a great car ride. Get in and go! Visit with friends, family or just follow the open road and see where it leads.
  2. Toys galore! When was the last time you took your pooch to pick out a toy from the love your petlocal pet store? What are you waiting for? Get going!
  3. Out with the old. Is your dog’s bed a bit worn around the edges or chewed up a la Fido. It’s never a bad time to check out some new, comfortable bedding.
  4. Snuggle up! Show the love by hanging out on the couch with your favorite movie and your favorite pup. Include popcorn for you and a dog treat for your best friend. Did someone say, “Lady and the Tramp?”
  5. Don’t eat that! Sometimes people confuse love with giving too much food – to animals and people alike! Try not to overdo it and over-love with too much food or the wrong foods, some of which can be very harmful to your pet. If your pet gets into a food that can be harmful or deadly, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Not to mention overweight pets can lead to various health problems.

Cats oftentimes are seen as mysterious, finicky and not quite as social as dogs. However, every cat is an individual, and many cats are very social and love interaction. Here’s ways to show them love:

  1. kitty loveExploration keeps the mind happy: Since cats love to explore, make sure your kitty has a cardboard box, a paper bag, scratching posts and even a cat condo.
  2. “Cat TV”: Cats often like to look out the window, watch the birds and check out what’s going on in the neighborhood. Ensure this fascination by allowing your cat access to window. Don’t forget to include lots of perches.
  3. The great outdoors: It can be dangerous to let your cats roam freely, but you can create a secure outdoor area for your kitty so he or she can get fresh air and be safe at the same time.

Our pets enrich our lives every day, so there’s no better time to return the favor.