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The Benefits of a Martingale Collar for Your Dog
Pool Safety: How to Keep Your Dogs Safe
Stomatitis in Cats: What Is It and Can It Be Treated?

The Benefits of a Martingale Collar for Your Dog
There are a variety of collars from which to choose for your dog, and there are many benefits of the martingale collar.

Often referred to as the greyhound collar or limited-slip collar, it is made for dogs with a narrow head and wider neck while also a good choice for any breed of dog who easily gets out of his regular collar.

“The martingale consists of a length of material with a metal ring at each end,” according to the article, “Dog collars,” at The Humane Society of the United States. “A separate loop of material passes through the two rings. The leash attaches to a ring on this loop.” If adjusted to your dog correctly and if your dog backs out of the martingale, it tightens but just to your dog’s neck size without choking him.

There are other pros about the martingale collar as compared to choke or slip collars that can be dangerous because of how tight they become when a dog pulls. A martingale won’t do that.

According to the article, “3 Benefits Of Using A Martingale Collar” at, the martingale is made from soft fabric and fits loose around a dog’s neck. The collar only tightens around the neck when it’s necessary. “Martingale collars distribute their pressure evenly around the neck rather than concentrating it in specific areas,” the SitStay article said.

The collar is good for training as it helps deter your dog from pulling his leash. “With a martingale collar, you can safely control your dog until they learn some basic commands,” according to SitStay. “The tightening action will indicate to dogs that they need to pay attention.” Not to mention, the collar can help keep your dog safe while walking.

Watch how to use the collar here:

Pool Safety: How to Keep Your Dogs Safe
Some of the best times of summer can be had in the swimming pool. It’s one of the perfect places to not only have fun but to cool off. What about your dogs? How can you keep them safe around the pool?

Keep in mind that not all dogs know how to swim. It’s a myth that they are born knowing how. While there are many dogs who like the water, many don’t.

Here’s some great pool tips for your dog, according to the article, “Five Pool Safety Tips for Dogs” at

1. Swimming lessons. Whether you do it or you hire a trainer, teach your dog how to swim. It’s important for your dog’s safety.
2. Buy a dog life vest. It’s a great way to ensure your dog is safe. “Just don’t rely on the life vest so much that you leave your dog unattended,” the article said.
3. Be extra careful with senior dogs. Many older dogs have certain health issues. First ask your vet if swimming is an option. If so, make sure you keep a careful watch over your senior.
4. CPR for dogs. This could be a lifesaver if you see your dog drowning. Click here for a PetMD article on how to perform CPR on dogs.
5. Ensure your pool is fenced in, yet another way to keep pets safe.

Also, remember it’s very important that dogs know how to get in and out of the pool, according to the article, “Dogs and Water Safety” at Fetch by WebMD. Make sure the water isn’t too cold before your dog takes a dip as cold water isn’t for all breeds. Also, rinse off your dog after swimming in any type of water, dry the ears, and never leave pets alone in the water.

Stomatitis in Cats: What Is It and Can It Be Treated?
There’s probably nothing worse than a toothache, and that goes for cats too. Stomatitis is a dental disease that cats get, and it’s very painful. While related to gingivitis, stomatitis is inflammation of the mucosal tissues in a cat’s mouth.

According to the article, “Stomatitis in Cats: Feline Dental Disease” at Best Friends Animal Society, some signs of stomatitis include:
• No appetite
• Pawing at the mouth
• Some personality changes
• Bloody saliva
• Weight loss

While there really isn’t one cause of stomatitis, a main belief “is that it is caused by chronic viral infections such as calicivirus and herpesvirus,” the article said. Weakened immune systems in cats can lead to the disease as well as immune-mediated diseases, ingestion of irritants, foreign bodies as well as kidney failure.

Managing stomatitis can include extraction of all of a cat’s teeth that have the inflammation, which “removes the sites to which plaque can attach,” the article said. Scaling and polishing can help but the plaque usually returns. Additionally, after extraction, vets will prescribe long-term antibiotics.

“Often, extractions and long-term antibiotics are not enough,” the Best Friends article said. “In this situation, an anti-inflammatory (typically, prednisone) is often needed. Prednisone can be given in oral form or as a long-acting injection.”

Most often the best option is removal of all the teeth.

“But this disease process is also very aggressive, and when you have full, degenerative disease occurring in the mouth, without aggressive intervention, many cats will stop eating and begin the dying process,” according to the article, “Feline Stomatitis: This is One Dental Disease You Don’t Want to Trifle With” at Healthy Pets.

And, cats can be OK without their teeth. “Many cats with full mouth extractions experience dramatic relief and have a significantly improved quality of life,” the Healthy Pets article said.

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How to Keep Thick-Coated Dogs Cool During the Summer
How to Keep Your Cat Stimulated through Games
What to Do If you See a Scared Animal Running in the Street

How to Keep Thick-Coated Dogs Cool During the Summer
Summer is hot for people not to mention dogs. It can be even more uncomfortable for thick-coated dogs. However, there are things you can do to help keep your dog cool.

If you’re thinking of shaving your dog, hold on! It’s not necessarily the best idea.

According to the article, “Heat Wave Approaching! Should You Shave Your Pet?” at, “While you or I would hate to sport multiple layers in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.” Actually, that coat is like insulation for your dog, and “keeps him from getting too cold in the winter, but also keeps him from overheating in the summer,” the article said.

If you shave that coat, it can bring on discomfort, overheating, and even sunburn or skin cancer.

Some vets may suggest shaving down a dog with a thick coat if the dog doesn’t do well in the heat. “Actually, any dog can suffer sunburn, so if you do shave your thick-coated dog, be sure to leave at least an inch of hair to protect your pet from the sun’s rays,” according to the article, “Should You Shave Your Pet for Summer?” at Fetch by WebMD.

Here are tips if you decide to shave your dog, according to the Fetch article:

• If you are inexperienced, see a professional groomer to avoid any accidents.
• When shaving your dog yourself, make sure the clippers are cool, so take breaks.
• Make sure to leave at least an inch of your dog’s hair for protection.
• Do not shave your dog too close to the skin.

Other tips to keep your thick-coated dog cool include making sure he has lots of cool water and shelter, ensure you brush his undercoat, and keep him cool and indoors.

How to Keep Your Cat Stimulated through Games
If you have a house cat, then you know that it is important to keep her physically and mentally active. While it’s safer to keep cats indoors, it can sometimes mean a bored cat who is not getting enough stimulation.

“So, we need to get our cats up and moving, and there’s no better way to coax out their natural instincts to stalk and chase prey than by engaging them with toys,” according to the article, “Playing With Your Cat: Toys and Games” at Fetch by WebMD.

Some toys that offer stimulation for cats include:

• Wand toys. Easily put together one at home using fabric and a stick that you can wave and circle in front of your cat.
• Ball toys. These can mimic mice, and your cats will be likely to chase. Easily scrunch up a paper ball at home or buy a ball.

Cats who lack stimulation can become destructive. You may see signs of a bored cat if they scratch and claw at things in your home, according to the article, “5 Brain Games You Can Play With Your Cat,” at The Purrington Post.

Brain games will not only help stimulate your cat but help the bond you have together. The Purrington Post recommends the following:

• Paw Pinata Play. It’s easy to create at home with a paper bag and cat treats. Make small cuts in the bag and fill with the treats. Hold the bag over your cat. The smell will entice your cat to bat the bag and release the treats.
• Treasure Hunt. Hide your cat’s food throughout your home to allow your cat’s hunting skills to find the food. It’s very stimulating for felines.

There’s so many options when it comes to stimulating games for cats and you’ll both be better for it.

What to Do If you See a Scared Animal Running in the Street
A feeling of helplessness can come over you if you spot a scared animal running in the street. What can you do to help and prevent the animal from getting hurt or even hit by a passing car?

First try to ensure you don’t cause an accident if you’re driving, so pull over. Next, try to catch the animal in a safe manner, according to the article, “How to help a stray pet,” at The Humane Society of the Unites States (HSUS).

The animal may be scared, injured, or sick, and there’s no telling how he will behave. You could accidentally scare the animal and he could take off into traffic, which you want to avoid. And, if the animal seems threatening, you want to stay safely away in your car.

If you feel you are able to try to capture the animal, “Create a barrier or use a carrier, leash, piece of cloth, or length of rope to keep the animal in the area,” the HSUS article said. Be very cautious to try not to get bitten or scratched.

You can try to lure the animal into your car with treats and speak calmly. “Turning a bit sideways can help you seem less intimidating to a scared dog, along with slow movement,” according to the article, “What to Do When You Find a Lost Dog” at Preventive Vet.

For an animal who is aggressive or if you are unable to capture him, call the police or local animal control for help.

If you do capture the animal, check for a collar and tags and get to a local vet to check for a microchip to find if there’s an owner. You can also contact your local animal shelters as well as spread the word with “Found Dog” flyers.

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What Is the Loose Skin Around Your Cat’s Stomach?
Outdoor Safety Tips for Pets During Hot Temperatures
Is Your Pet in Your Will?

What Is the Loose Skin Around Your Cat’s Stomach?

Some people might think they have a fat cat because of the pouch of loose skin found around their cat’s stomach in front of the back legs. It has also been mistaken for excess skin after a spay or neuter. But it can be something else, something you might not know about at all.

Don’t worry because this extra skin is usually pretty normal in cats. “The technical term for this flap of skin and fat, which often feels like a half-full water balloon, is the ‘primordial pouch,’ and you can also observe this feature on some big cats like lions and tigers,” according to the article, “Why do many cats have a saggy belly?” at

It’s that pouch that has protected cats during fights with predators. Not to mention, a cat’s full body is protected with excess skin, “which helps them squirm out of the grasp of other predators,” according to the article.

The pouch is seen in both female and male cats and varies in size from cat to cat. It serves other purposes as well, according to the article, “The Primordial Pouch” at Valley Cats Inc. “The Primordial Pouch, or belly flap, allows the cat to stretch and move easily when running, jumping, or twisting around,” the article said, adding that wild cats have pouches for the same reason as well.

Another interesting bit of information from biologists regarding wild cats is they believe “these pouches allow extra room to expand when gorging on their kills, since they do not always eat daily,” The Primordial Pouch article said.

No matter what, it’s very important to ensure your domestic cat does not overeat and then store food in the pouch. An obese cat is an unhealthy cat.

Outdoor Safety Tips for Pets During Hot Temperatures
When temperatures rise in Arizona and other hot spots around the country, it can be challenging to keep your pets safe, but it’s imperative that you do. Remember, it’s important for humans and pets to be extra careful when it’s hot outside.

If you have a dog who needs to go for walks, keep in mind the time of day. According to the article, “Keep pets safe in the heat” at The Humane Society of the United States, “On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.” And, walk on grass because pavement can burn paws. Also, don’t forget to bring drinking water along for you and your pet.

Heatstroke can be very dangerous to your pet. Learn the signs so you are prepared in case it happens, including heavy panting, rapid heartbeat, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, dizziness and more, according to the article. Heatstroke can be even worse for senior or very young animals as well as those who are overweight or ones with heart or respiratory disease.

With the warmer weather comes parasites in some areas. It’s important to use preventives against heartworm, fleas, and ticks, according to the article, “Warm weather pet safety,” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

The AVMA article also advised to speak with your vet about sunscreen or a haircut for your pet, and whether to start an exercise program in warmer weather, especially for pets who are overweight and those breeds with short noses.

If you are exercising outdoors, always make sure to take lots of breaks and drink enough water. Keep your pet and yourself healthy, and be careful out there!

Is Your Pet in Your Will?
While wills in general are not the easiest of topics, oftentimes when a person dies, a pet is left with no one to take over their care.

Pets’ lives are naturally shorter than ours, but sometimes things happen and people die, leaving pets alone. There also are times when family members don’t want to or cannot take over a pet’s care after a person dies. When there’s no plan, many pets are left at shelters through no fault of their own.

Given that, it’s very responsible to make provisions for your pets for after you die.

Here are things to take into consideration when putting your pet in your will, according to the article, “Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You” courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States and posted at

• Discuss your will and prepare a document that arranges for your pet’s care, ownership, and money left for the pet’s care after you die.
• Choose a permanent caregiver for your pet. If you have more than one pet, decide if you need more than one person. Discuss with your caregiver to ensure they agree to take on the responsibility of your pet’s care. Also choose alternates in case the first-named caregiver backs out. “Remember, the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care—including veterinary treatment and euthanasia—so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet,” the article said.

You may want to set up a pet trust. According to the article, “Including Animals in Your Will,” at Animal Legal Defense Fund, trusts are more secure when providing for an animal. “Pet trusts provide an extra layer of security and additional protections.”

Make sure to speak with your attorney.