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There’s Hope for Dogs Who Suffer with Arthritis

Not a day goes by without hearing or seeing a commercial about arthritis. Just as with people, our dogs can suffer from the debilitating joint disease. As a matter of fact, arthritis is unfortunately becoming more prevalent in dogs and “is one of the most common health problems seen by veterinarians,” according to a PET MD article, “How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs: Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Steroids, and NSAIDs.”

It can be more difficult to determine arthritis in dogs because dogs tend “to ignore soreness and discomfort until the arthritic changes in the joints have progressed significantly,” the article said.

For most dogs, the signs of joint disease don’t show up until the later years, but that “varies depending on your pet’s breed,” according to an article at The article listed the most common signs of joint disease to include limping, stiffness, noticeable pain, not able to jump or climb stairs, or inability to rise.

It is important to note that diet and nutrition will not turn back the clock or stop arthritis. However, there are supplements that can help ease joint pain.

From joint fractures and developmental disorders such as hip dysplasia to degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) and inflammatory joint disease, there are many causes of arthritis, according to the article.

The article discusses various ways to manage arthritis such as medical treatment, including the availability of supplements and drugs. “Through proper diet, exercise, supplements, anti-inflammatories, and pain relief, you may be able to decrease the progression of degenerative joint disease, but the looseness in the joint or bony changes will not change significantly,” the article said.

It’s very important to keep your dog at a good weight ensuring he or she is not overweight. Exercise that offers “good range of motion and muscle building and limits wear and tear on the joints is the best,” the article said. This includes activities such as leash walking and swimming. Always keep your pet warm and provide a comfortable sleeping area with an orthopedic bed.

Make sure to speak with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s situation so that you can provide the most optimal treatment to ensure your pet’s pain is managed for his or her beat health.


Peanut Butter As A Dog Treat: Be in the Know About This Tasty Treat

For years people have been giving their dogs peanut butter as a tasty treat. Fill up a Kong with some peanut butter and you can let your dog go to town and keep him busy, right? Not so fast. You may want to rethink this. Or at least you should find out everything about the peanut butter you give to your dogs.images

Because peanut butter is exceptionally high in fat, some companies have been using a sweetener called xylitol, “a sugar-free substance used as a sugar substitute,” according to Xylitol Poisoning In Dogs: A Deadly Sugar Substitute at But buyer beware as xylitol can be very dangerous and even deadly for dogs, even in the smallest of quantities. So you don’t want your dog to get ahold of any of it.

According to the article This Popular Peanut Butter Ingredient Could Kill Your Dog, it is always best to check the ingredients on any peanut butter jar just to be sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is not dangerous to humans. If you suspect your dog has ingested xylitol, make sure to call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

The following is a list of nut butters (at containing xylitol, so be sure to keep your dog away from them:
• Go Nuts, Co.
• Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter
• Krush Nutrition
• Nuts ‘N More
• P28

According to Is Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs? Please Beware – Some Could Be Deadly! at, peanut butter is OK for your dog, but only on occasion for a treat as long as your dog is not overweight as it can lead to obesity and “too much can cause pancreatitis.”

As often is the case, if you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian.


Let Everyone Know Cats Are Happy and Cuddly, Too!

Did you know September is Happy Cat month? Created by the CATalyst Council, the special month is “an event that serves to educate and inform cat owners in regards to what they can do to ensure their pet is happy.”

CATalyst Council strives to “advance the health, welfare and value of companion cats,” according to the website. “This will ensure all cats are cared for and valued as pets.” The organization works hard to show that cats enjoy bonding with their humans and need care.

Happy Cat Month annually helps to spread the word about cats as beloved pets. Because cats often are seen as aloof and self-reliant and not needing the medical care that dogs do, the event was created “to counteract these stereotypes and ensure cats are well cared for, enriched, and receive the preventive care they require.”

So when it comes to cats, Second Home Pet Resort knows what great companions they are for people. Just in time for Happy Cat Month, Second Home introduces Daisy, a very sweet Calico who is available for adoption.

Daisy is a darling 11 year-old kitty who would be a great match for someone at home who enjoys hanging out, talking and listening. She is always happy and ready to hear about your day. Not only is Daisy loving, she is a cat who loves her treats. Daisy needs a great home where she can get all the attention she deserves, so she would be best as an only pet. She is spayed, microchipped and up to date on vaccinations. If you have room in your heart to adopt sweet Daisy, please contact Second Home Pet Resort.IMG_7490

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Does Your Dog Have What it Takes to Be An Assitance Dog?

Have you ever thought your own dog would make a great assistance dog? That crosses many of our minds. Although you may have an amazing dog, not every dog makes the cut or is right for the task.

From August 7-13, we celebrate International Assistance Dog Week (IADW), which “was created to recognize of all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations,” according to the IADW website. These amazing dogs help “transform the lives of their human partners with debilitating physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, aide, best friend and close member of their family.

There are some things to take into consideration
when deciding whether your dog should become an assistance dog. According to Assistance Dogs International, a variety of dog breeds can be good service dogs, even though many programs use Golden Retrievers and Labradors. The website said, “A good service dog is not protective, is people orientated, not overly active, confident but not dominant or submissive. Service dogs should not require complex grooming as this could be a problem for their owner.”

When it comes to what makes a good hearing dog, there are programs that have used shelter dogs that are mixed breeds, and therefore of various sizes and shapes. Requirements include a good temperament and personality as well as energetic and “ready to work in an instant when a sound occurs,” the website said. “They must be friendly and people oriented.”

It is very important to note that assistance dogs are not for protection. Their job “is to make a disabled individual more able,” the website said. “The dog’s presence is a natural deterrent. Because disabled people take their Assistance Dogs into public places and many are not able to physically restrain their dogs, the Assistance Dog must be safe for the public.”

Monsoon Season Is Here! Be Aware of Valley Fever and Your Dog

Here in Arizona, we have many things of which to be aware and watchful. Along with excessive heat and scorpions and snakes, Valley Fever can be cause for concern in humans and pets.

Valley Fever is common to Arizona and “is a disease caused by a fungus that gets into your body through your lungs,” according to WebMD. It is contracted by breathing “in the fungus (Coccidioides immitis) that causes the disease.” Since it is found in the soil, it is easily contracted when the soil is disturbed, such as by dust storms and during monsoon season.

Although cats can contract Valley Fever, dogs in Arizona are more susceptible, especially those dogs who spend much of their time outdoors in dusty and dirt-filled areas, according to PetMD. The condition can go from mild to severe and be extremely costly for pet owners. “It is estimated that valley fever costs all Arizona dog owners at least $60 million per year,” according to The University of Arizona, Valley Fever Center for Excellence.ff896351-f297-422d-a1e2-664f9a99d638

According to PetMD some of the symptoms include, fever, lethargy, lameness, coughing and difficulty breathing. Because Valley Fever can be very serious, it is important to have your dog (or cat) under your veterinarian’s care. “Your veterinarian will want to monitor antibodies every three to four months, or until they are in a range that can be considered normal,” according to PetMD.

It is also important to keep your pets indoors, especially during dust storms and monsoon season, and, of course, when it is very hot

FIV in Felines: What It Is And What You Should Know

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) “is a lentivirus, the same class of virus as HIV,” according to Best Friends. It lives in various tissues in the body and weakens a cat’s immune system, the website said.

However, it is not necessarily a death sentence. Cats who have the disease can live long, productive lives if under the care of a vet and living in a safe, clean, indoor environment.

According to the ASPCA, symptoms may not show in cats for many years, but once they do progress, it is important for your cat to be under a veterinarian’s care. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Disheveled coat
  • Poor appetite
  • Diarrhe
  • Skin redness or hair loss
  • Wounds that don’t heal

FIV is determined by a blood test, and every cat should
have one. It is transmitted from cat to cat and cannot be passed to humans. Prevention can begin with keeping your cats indoors so that he or she does not come in contact with felines who are infected. If you bring other cats into your home, make sure to have them tested first, according to the ASPCA website.

With regard to FIV treatment, it “focuses mainly on extending the asymptomatic period or, if symptoms have set in, on easing the secondary effects of the virus,” the website said.

The ASPCA recommends keeping an eye out for any changes in your cat’s health and/or behavior, keep your cat inside, feed a nutritionally balanced diet, keep up on vet visits, and, as always, make sure your cat is spayed or neutered.

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Celebrate the Fourth Of July And Keep Your Pets Safe

The Fourth of July brings many things, from picnics and barbecues to swimming and fireworks. What’s often fun for humans can be a nightmare for animals. From dangerous foods and excessive heat to loud fireworks that can frighten dogs, cats and other animals, it’s important to have safety measures in place when it comes to our pets.

We deal with it year after year, but every year we hear the horror stories of pets panicking and running away due to the loud noises of the fireworks, which can start weeks before July 4 and go for weeks after.

What can you do to ensure your pets are safe this time of year? The American Veterinary Medical Associaton (AVMA) has some great tips to help prepare your animals ahead of time and keep them safe during the July 4 festivities as well:

The following safety tips from the AVMA include:

  • Ensure your pets wear ID tags with current information.
  • Microchip your pets and keep information up to date.
  • Keep current photos of your animals.
  • Keep your home and yard safe and secure.
  • If you’re attending a party, parade or other gathering, leave your pets home. Consider keeping your pets in a “safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.”
  • If you’re hosting, alert guests to the dangers and let them be part of keeping your pets safe.
  • Keep your pets indoors.
  • Keep your pets away from the sparklers, fireworks and other dangerous items, and don’t feed them harmful foods
  • Pets don’t do well in the excessive heat and humidity, so keep them inside in the A/C with fresh, cool water.

It’s always better to keep your pets safe than be sorry later. Don’t let your dog or cat be one of the statistics who run away during the holiday.

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How to Keep Your Pets Safe Around The Pool

It’s a common misconception that all dogs know how to swim. Nor do they all love the water. Forget about cats. Surely, there are some out there who like to take a dip, but for the most part, probably not. Even if you can’t get your pets to enjoy the water, it’s a good idea to ensure they know how to swim and get in and out of a pool.

If you are going to take your dog or cat out for a swim, make sure to keep an eye out and watch for heatstroke in your pet. According to Pool Safety Tips for Cats “Cat owners should keep their eyes out for the symptoms of heat stroke in their pets, which include restlessness followed by lethargy, dullness, weakness, recumbency (lying down), excessive drooling (foaming at the mouth) and difficulty breathing (dyspnea).”

Keep the following tips in mind from “9 Must Read Tips to Keep Your Dog Afloat” when considering taking your dog swimming:

  1. Start with a kiddie pool for newbies.
  2. Research breeds and their habits around water.
  3. Don’t force your pet to swim.
  4. Teach your pet how to get in and out of the water, whether it’s a pool, lake or the beach. You may need a ramp for certain dogs and cats as well.
  5. Pool water is filled with chemicals, so no drinking! Lakes and the ocean can also be dangerous. Keep fresh water available.
  6. A life jacket is a great idea, especially “for new or non-swimmers.”
  7. “A Giardia vaccination to prevent infections” goes a long way, especially in lakes or rivers.
  8. For those with pools, keep gates closed and locked.
  9. Rinse off your pet after a swim in the pool to remove chlorine residue, and other chemicals or bacteria from the ocean or lake.


Long-Haired Dogs: To Shave or Not to Shave?

We see it all the time. People with long-haired dogs who shed think it’s a good idea to have their dogs shaved, especially during the hot summer months. Many think it keeps their dogs cool and stops the hair from accumulating in their homes.

But is it a good idea in the first place?

According to the ASPCA’s article “Heat Wave! Should You Shave Your Pet?”, “hold those clippers! While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief,” the article said.

“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, in the article. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing,” she said in the article.

The coat of your dog is comprised of various layers that help your dog in the heat; it’s an actual “cooling system” for your dog that “can lead to discomfort and overheating,” if shaved, the article said. That coat is also protection from sunburn and the possibility of skin cancer.

It is recommended to have a professional groomer trim your dog’s hair, but “never shave down to the skin or try to cut the hair yourself with scissors,” according to the article.

Dog owners can also leave their dog’s hair as is. Shedding provides a naturally lighter coat for dogs. “Remember to brush your dog’s fur and bathe her frequently as clean, brushed fur allows for better air circulation,” the article said.