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The Challenges of Moving with Pets and How to Make It Work
The Benefits of Fostering a Pet In Need
What Are Community Cats and How Can You Help Them?

The Challenges of Moving with Pets and How to Make It Work
Moving is something many people dread. It’s kind of like taxes. But take moving and add in pets and it’s an entirely more stressful situation. There are challenges, but if you plan ahead you can actually make it less stressful.

Whether you’re moving to a new home or a different apartment or condo, there’s preparation before moving day, there’s moving day, and then settling into the new place.

When you bring home moving boxes, pets may have a strange reaction to something unfamiliar in their space. With all that’s going on, including packing, doors opening and closing, you want to ensure your pet is safe. “It’s much safer to keep your pet somewhere safe during this process—maybe in a closed-off room or maybe at a friend’s house or doggie daycare,” according to the article, “Moving With Pets: 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid” at It’s also a good idea to keep pets safe and confined when you get to your new place.

Get your pet used to the crate or the car before moving day. By acclimating your pet to the crate, you’ll make moving day easier for everyone involved, according to the article, “Moving With Your Pet” at

Pet-proofing your new home is also important. This includes ensuring windows have screens, make sure electrical cords are safely tucked away, and remove poisonous plants and/or pest control poison traps, according to the ASPCA.

When you arrive you don’t want to overwhelm your pet, so take it slowly. “Start by allowing them to adjust to one room—their ‘home base’—which should include their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls and litter box for cats,” the said. Slowly introduce them to the other rooms.

Before you know it you and your pet will be right a home.

The Benefits of Fostering a Pet In Need
There are many shelters and rescues across the country. Many are overwhelmed with pets and don’t have the room to take in more. Fostering an animal is a great way to volunteer, and it helps a pet acclimate to a home while also allowing a shelter or rescue to take in other animals in need.

“Fostering a pet does not require that you have loads of free time or advanced dog training skills,” according to the article, “Top 10 reasons to foster a pet,” at “In fact, most shelters offer foster opportunities that fit your schedule.”

Best Friends offers reasons to foster, including:

• The shelter can be stressful for animals and foster homes bring out the best in pets.
• From walks to the park or playing with a cat, fostering is a lot of fun for you and the pet.
• You might be able to find a potential adopter through a long walk in the park.
• While fostering you gather important information about the pet that you can disclose to potential adopters.
• “Fostering is a temporary commitment with permanent rewards,” according to the article.

When you foster, it can be for a short time or until the pet is adopted. There are other reasons why foster homes are needed. According to the article, “Why Foster A Dog and What Does It Involve?” at “A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for dogs until suitable homes are found,” the article said.

Another reason has to do with puppies who need a safe place until they are ready to be adopted into a home.

No matter the reason why a pet needs a foster home, you’ll be doing something positive to help that pet find a forever home.

What Are Community Cats and How Can You Help Them?
If you have witnessed a large group of cats in your neighborhood, don’t be alarmed. They are most likely community cats—also known as feral cats. They are not socialized, not people-friendly, and live within their own colonies.

There are things you can do to help. “Community cats live outdoors,” according to the article, “How to Live With Cats in Your Neighborhood,” at Alley Cat Allies. “Like all animals, community cats settle where food and shelter are available, and they are naturally skilled at finding these on their own.”

According to the article, since they are unsocialized they cannot live inside with people so they are unadoptable. However, if brought to a shelter, they will most likely be euthanized. “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane, effective, and mainstream approach to addressing community cat populations,” the article said.

“In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal sign that a cat is part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes,” according to Alley Cat Allies. TNR is effective and humane and a “collaborative way for communities to coexist with cats.”

Oftentimes community cats are cared for and fed by caring people in the neighborhood. The most important thing is to ensure that someone does TNR on the cats so that no more unwanted litters occur.

If you are not sure how to help the community cats in your neighborhood or want to ensure the cats get TNR, there may be local help. “If you’re really lucky, there is an organization or agency in your area that can help you TNR the feral cats you’re feeding,” according to the article, “How individuals can help community cats,” at The Humane Society of the United States (

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New Puppy or Kitten? Tips to Raise Them Right
Pet Health Insurance: Do You Need It and Is it Worth It?
The Benefits of Giving Your Cat Catnip

New Puppy or Kitten? Tips to Raise Them Right
Spring is a perfect time to adopt and bring home a puppy or kitten. But with puppies and kittens come some challenges, and you have new responsibilities to raise your puppy or kitten right.

According to the article, “Tips for Adopting a New Puppy or Kitten” at Friendship Hospital for Animals, there are three things to keep him mind:

1. Make an appointment with your vet for an initial checkup and bring any paperwork that you received upon adoption. Discuss the vaccines your pet received and plan a schedule for remaining ones. “In addition, a poo sample is helpful so your veterinarian can make sure your new buddy didn’t bring home any unwanted friends (internal parasites) with him,” the article said. Ensure you get your pet started on preventatives, e.g. heartworm, etc.
2. Try enrolling your puppy in basic training classes and start socializing him.
3. Ensure your puppy or kitten is spayed or neutered.

You’ll want to puppy-proof your home. “Remove anything he might be tempted to chew or swallow, and close off vents, pet doors or any other openings that might allow him to become lost or stuck,” according to the article, “Raising a Puppy: What You Need to Know” at Buy supplies including food, collar and ID, leash, dog bed, and bowls.

For kittens, it’s important they “feel comfortable with you as soon as possible,” according to the article, “Bringing Home Your New Kitten” at When you bring your kitten home, place him and his carrier in a room where it’s quiet and allow him to explore at his own pace.

There’s a lot involved when bringing home a new puppy or kitten, but do your research and some work, add a little patience, and an amazing friendship will bloom.

Pet Health Insurance: Do You Need It and Is it Worth It?
Pet insurance is becoming more popular and more companies are offering it. Is it a good idea? What does it cost and what does it cover?

The answers vary depending on many factors, including the company you choose, the type of pet, the breed, the age, and then the plan you choose.

Pets are living longer these days. “As veterinary medicine becomes more technologically advanced, the cost of care increases,” according to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Pet insurance can help with some of the costs when your pet is sick or has an injury.

The AVMA first recommends speaking with your vet and doing research to find out if pet insurance is right for you and your pet.

According to the AVMA, consider the following:

• Insurance plans should include the details and limitations and exclusions for routine and emergency care and if your premiums will increase as your pet ages.
• Ask about additional options including dental.
• Ask about pre-existing conditions and if they are covered.
• Is there a breed restriction?
• Find out about co-pays, deductibles, and other fees.

Do your research about monthly premiums and deductibles as well as the reimbursement plan.

“When you compare pet insurance plans, you should also remember to check out the exclusions in each covered category,” according to the article, “Getting Pet Insurance: What You Need to Know,” at “For instance, if a plan covers alternative therapies, it might not cover certain treatments like physical therapy or acupuncture.”

The article suggested finding out what’s covered, including:

• Vet exams
• Hereditary conditions
• Surgery
• Emergency care
• Cancer treatments

Along with your research, speak to others who have pet insurance, and ask lots of questions before you decide what’s best for you and your pet.

The Benefits of Giving Your Cat Catnip
Catnip. It’s what most felines go wild about. So, what is catnip and what are the benefits for your cat?

A member of the mint family, catnip is from Europe and Asia. Nepeta cataria is its actual name and has also been called catmint or catwort, according to the article, “Truth About Catnip” at Fetch by WebMD. From lions and tigers to house cats, most felines love catnip.

“Catnip’s allure is in its volatile oil, specifically one chemical in that oil — nepetalactone,” according to the Fetch by WebMD article. “Found in catnip’s leaves, stems, and seeds, it only takes one or two sniffs of that wondrous oil before susceptible felines are licking, chewing, and rolling head-over-tail in kitty bliss.”

It typically only lasts 10 minutes and makes some cats calm while others aggressively playful. When the feeling subsides cats won’t respond to it again for about two hours.

“Because cats do respond to catnip again and again, the herb can be a powerful training aid,” the article said. It can be used to deter cats from clawing on furniture or to create catnip toys for enrichment purposes.

Catnip works best on cats 6 months and older and is safe to ingest but not in large amounts because digestive issues can occur, according to the article, “What Does Catnip Do to Cats?” at “Use just a little at a time, and you can always discuss the correct amount for your cat with your veterinarian.”

Store catnip in a container that is airtight as it can lose its effectiveness. According to the PetMD article, it comes in a variety of forms including:
• Fresh catnip
• Dry catnip
• Sprays or bubbles
• Stuffed toys with dried catnip

Determine which type of catnip is best for your feline and ensure a happy cat.

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It’s Pet Dental Month! The Importance of Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth
How to Keep Your High-Anxiety Pet Busy While You’re Not Home
Tips on Caring for Your Senior Pet’s Health

It’s Pet Dental Month! The Importance of Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and if you’re wondering why there’s an entire month about pets and their teeth, read on.

As it is with humans, dental health in pets is important for overall health. When it goes unchecked it can cause serious health problems all around. It is recommended that you have your veterinarian check your pet’s teeth and gums on a yearly basis as a preventative measure and to check for any problems.

“Dog dental disease has serious consequences, so maintaining good dog dental care is very important,” according to the article, “5 Reasons Why Dog Dental Care Is Important” at It affects teeth, gums as well as structures around your dog’s teeth and starts with the buildup of plaque, which contains bacteria.

“Plaque that stays on the teeth hardens into tartar,” the article said. “When tartar is above the gumline, it’s easily visible, and your veterinarian can remove it relatively easily during a professional dental cleaning.” However, tartar below the gums is what can be very dangerous and cause infection.

According to the article, “Pet dental care” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), some signs that your pet has serious issues with his teeth include:

• Bad breath
• Loose or broken teeth
• Discolored teeth or lots of tartar
• Loss of appetite
• Pain around the mouth

The most common dental issue in dogs and cats is periodontal disease, which can occur by the time your pet is around 3 years old. The condition will only get worse as your pet gets older if nothing is done.

“Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth,” the AVMA article said. “Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.”

So, make that appointment to get your pet’s teeth checked.

How to Keep Your High-Anxiety Pet Busy While You’re Not Home
You love your dog but he has separation anxiety, so leaving your house gives you anxiety too. What can you do to help your dog for those times you’re out of the house?

There are dogs who, when left alone, become extremely destructive, destroying household items and even worse. Some start to become nervous even before you leave.

According to the article, “Does your dog freak out when you leave?” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), some of the ways dogs show behavior issues include:

• Howling, whining, and barking
• Destructively chewing
• Scratching and digging
• Urinating or defecating in the home

“It’s not fully understood why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and others don’t,” the HSUS article said. “But remember, your dog’s behaviors are part of a panic response.”

There are a variety of reasons why a dog has high-anxiety when separated from their owner. According to the article, “How to Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety,” at Fetch by WebMD, some reasons a dog may act this way include:

• Being left alone for the first time
• Ownership change
• A move from a shelter to a home
• Routine change

First discuss with your vet to rule out medical issues. For mild separation anxiety there are a few things you can do. “Give your dog a special treat each time you leave (like a puzzle toy stuffed with peanut butter),” the Fetch article said. “Only give them this treat when you’re gone, and take it away when you get home.” You can also try to be low key about when you leave and come home. “Ignore your pup for the first few minutes after you get home,” the Fetch article said. You can also leave clothes or another item that smells like you or try over-the-counter natural calming supplements.

Tips on Caring for Your Senior Pet’s Health
From their health care to playtime, things change as pets get older. Know what to expect so you can prepare and give your pet the best senior life possible.

According to the article, “Senior Pets,” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “While it’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging such as graying haircoat and slower pace, it’s important to remember a pet’s organ systems are also changing.” Senior pets are more susceptible to heart, kidney, and liver disease as well as arthritis or cancer. “Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats have a somewhat lower rate.”

Many older pets lose sight and hearing as humans do, and some get cataracts. Behavior changes can also be a sign of aging in pets. “Some behavior changes in older pets may be due to cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to senility in people,” the AVMA article said. Changes can include:

• Anxiety, nervousness
• Accidents in the home
• Little interest in playing
• Grouchy, irritable

“Your dog may develop arthritis or other degenerative diseases that cause him to slow down,” according to the article, “Tips for Caring for Senior Dogs” at You may find that your dog cannot walk or play for long or that he gets tired faster. He also may have trouble with stairs.

The PetMD article offers some tips, including:

• Ger regular vet checkups.
• Get a body condition evaluation to find out if your dog is at the proper weight.
• Feed a high quality diet.
• Brush your dog’s teeth for good dental health.
• Exercise your dog.
• Keep your dog stimulated with toys.
• Provide soft bedding, ramps to make stairs easier, and carpet for slippery floors.

Senior pets can have fulfilling lives. Be sure to be by their side every step of the way.