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Celebrate Adopt-A-Cat Month And Bring Home a New Feline Friend

Spring is kitten season and with it comes numerous litters of unwanted kitties who either roam the streets with no family to call home or who end up at local shelters, along with their older counterparts.

In order to help spread the word and get more people interested in adopting kittens and older cats, American Humane Association sponsors Adopt-A-Cat month every June in hopes of enlightening the public about all the cats out there needing homes. According to American Humane Association, “your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between.” Having a month dedicated to bringing awareness is important to help get felines adopted.

As bad as the unwanted dog problem is in most cities, it can be worse for cats. According to the Humane Society of the United States in “Pets by the Numbers,”  some estimates from 2014 include:

·         “Percentage of cats euthanized in shelters: 70%

·         Percentage of total shelter intake comprised of cats: Approximately 50% (but in some regions 2/3 of shelter population is cats)”

American Humane Association has a comprehensive checklist for adopting a cat to include:

·         Two cats can be better than one! When you go to adopt one cat, why not bring home two? Because cats need mental stimulation and exercise, American Humane Associations says “Two cats can provide this for each other” in addition to bringing humans great benefits.

·         Cats have their own personalities, so find one whose personality fits with your own.

·         Stay on top of things by choosing a veterinarian before you bring home your furry feline. Also, be sure to schedule a first visit ASAP.

·         Before you bring home your new cat, make sure everyone in the family is on board and ready. Make it a “family affair.” If you already have pets at home, be prepared “to make a proper introduction.”

·         Bringing home a new furry family member means additional costs. Make sure you are prepared for the responsibility for the long term.

·         Have everything waiting at home, including litter box, food and water bowls, toys, scratching posts, a bed, etc.

·         Is your home cat-proof? Don’t leave food or dangerous items lying around. You don’t want your cat to get into your food or to choke or chew on dangerous items such as electrical cords.

·         Cats need time to adjust to new surroundings, so allow them to get used to everything and everyone, including family and friends.

·         Have a family emergency plan that includes your cat and other pets.

Before you give a cat as a gift, “make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.” Cats are living beings with feelings and emotions. Ensure everyone is on the same page.

The Best Ways to Keep Your Pet’s Hair Mat Free

You love your dogs and cats, but sometimes the hair! Oh the hair! Especially for those long-haired dogs and cats. What is a pet owner to do? Sometimes caring for the long hair can get away from you. Matted pet hair can be difficult to detangle and, most of all, can even be painful for your

beloved furry family member.

According to Doctors Foster and Smith’s “Hair Mats in Dogs & Cats,” most mats form in the following places:

·         “Behind ears

·         Between back legs

·         Along the back of the haunches

·         In the groin area

·         Underneath front legs

·         Under the collar”

Obviously, it is best to avoid hair mats whenever possible. When dog hair is long, smaller tangles are more prevalent. “The small tangles get snarled together, and dead, shedding hair and debris get caught in the snarl,” according to the article. “As the mat gets bigger, hair from farther and farther away from the original site becomes entangled and pulls on tender skin, causing the animal discomfort.”

The lack of combing and brushing results in bigger mats. That leads to the skin being pulled more. When mats get worse and tighten even more, that makes it even more painful for the animals. “Skin can become irritated and ulcerated from the constant pulling.”

Smaller mats can be managed and “broken apart” with use of a mat rake. However, the larger mats will need to be cut out with scissors or other tools, so you might want to bring your pet to a professional groomer if the situation is severe.

In order to prevent matting, it is best to routinely brush your pet’s hair. It is not easy to stick to a regimen, but it can alleviate a lot of discomfort and pain in your dog or cat down the road. It’s worth the time and effort. You can also keep your dog’s long hair shorter, which will also reduce the mats. This is an option for those hot weather months.

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Every summer, the news is filled with stories of dogs dying in hot cars, even here in Arizona where we should know better.

Our summers start early and are long and very hot, oftentimes with temperatures up into the triple digits. It’s important for pet owners to ensure their beloved furry family members are safe, cool and hydrated — and out of harm’s way. One of the most important things you can do for your pets is to leave them home.

Although it is not safe to leave your pets in the car at any time, remember that when it’s hot out, the situation is even worse. Even if you are just running into the store or leaving a window cracked open, the intense heat inside a car can threaten your pet’s health and can even result in death. Therefore, leaving the window cracked open does not help. For those who simply think they will only be five minutes in the store, how often do people get sidetracked or held up and that five minutes turns into a half hour or more? It’s just not worth the risk.

Remember, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “Pets in Vehicles,” “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!”

Having the facts about how hot it can get in your vehicle points to the perfect reasons to leave your pets at home while you shop or run errands. Your pets are safest when in a cool home with plenty of fresh water.

But what if you spot a dog in a hot car? What should you do?

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the situation and get involved. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in “What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car,”

  1. Get the car’s information, including make, model and license plate.
  2. If the car is parked near a business, ask store managers to make an announcement to see if the car’s owner can be located.
  3. Call your local police non-emergency number or animal control and give them the information.

According to the HSUS, it’s important to be informed about your town or city’s laws concerning leaving pets in hot vehicles. Have important numbers handy so that you can call for help. You can also ask retail store owners to post signs asking their patrons not to leave pets in hot cars. In addition, if your town does not have a law in place regarding pets in hot cars, start by contacting your local representatives.

The HSUS has an informative retro video. Watch it here.

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Beat the Heat: Hot Weather Safety Tips for Your Pets

The summer can be hard on some of us humans as well as our pets. It is especially more difficult in Arizona, as the temperatures get into the triple digits where the heat can last far longer than in other parts of the country. 

It is always best to keep your pets indoors, especially during excessive heat (or cold). There is no place that is safer for them than inside the home. 

Remember never to leave your dog or cat in the car, especially during the summer months. “When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour,” according to The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) “What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car.” The article provides important tips on what to do if you see a pet in a car. Make sure to keep the information handy and step in if you feel a life is in danger.

Some other important tips to help keep your pets safe in summer from the HSUS’ Keep Pets Safe in the Heat” include: 

1.      Keep track of humidity. Although Arizona tends to be on the dry side, it’s been getting more humid, so take heed. Pets cannot cool themselves in high humidity. Keep a thermometer handy for dogs whose temperature should not go over 104 degrees.

2.      Keep exercise to a minimum. In Arizona when it’s triple-digits, the pavement is extra hot and too hot to walk your dog. If you must walk your         dog, do it either very early in the morning or later in the evening. Bring water along for the both of you.

3.      If your pet must be outside, supply fresh water and proper shade.

4.      Always have enough water to keep your pets cool, even when your pet is inside.

5.      Watch for signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting, fever, glazed eyes, vomiting and more. Older and overweight dogs are more prone.

6.      Have a disaster plan in case of outage. 

It’s best to be prepared for summer, and now is the time to start. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen, for you and Fido!

Microchipping Can Help Bring Your Pet Home If He Gets Lost

We hear it all the time. Someone accidentally leaves a door open and a beloved family dog, cat or rabbit escapes. Or the dog is out playing in the backyard and the landscaper forgets to shut the gate, and the dog gets out. When it happens, there’s no worse feeling than knowing your family pet is lost, out there alone and frightened and in possible danger.

Although it is very important that all pets wear a collar and ID tags at all times, “Unfortunately, collars and ID tags are not foolproof and dogs and cats can still get lost. Collars can break or fall-off, leaving your beloved pet among the countless, unidentified lost strays at animal shelters,” according to “Microchipping 101: Why is it Important to Microchip My Pet? 

Even though microchipping has become popular and has helped reunite many pets with their families, the technology should be used in addition to a collar and tags. 

Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted in your pet’s skin by many veterinarians and animal shelters; some shelters implant one in all pets they place,” according to the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) article “High Tech: Identifying Lost Pets With Microchips.” 

A special scanner is needed to read a microchip, which holds important identifying information so that owners can be reunited with their pets. Veterinarians and animal shelters typically have the scanners. 

When you get your pet microchipped, make sure to fill out the paperwork and register the chip with the accompanying microchip company. If you move, make sure to update the information. 

A microchip is an additional way to make sure your pet will be safe if he is lost. Your pet is family, so he can never have too much ID.

Make Sure To Have A Plan For Your Pets in Case of Emergencies

Even though here in Arizona, we don’t have tornadoes and hurricanes, emergencies and natural disasters come in other forms. From power outages during excessive heat to monsoons, it is important to ensure your pets are part of the bigger plan when disaster strikes. You definitely don’t want to scramble in the event of an emergency. You and your beloved pets could suffer uncecessarily. 

Over the years, the importance of our pets has been heard and FEMA has listened. FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino talks about preparing in case of an emergency in a short yet informative video. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to ensure our pets are safe, and it’s worth it. 

To find out how to be prepared and for more information go to