World Spay Day February 25th

shelter_dogWorld Spay Day is celebrating its 20th year!  Help us in congratulating them for reducing the pet population!
Some Statistics:

  • In 1986, it was estimated that 17.6 to 29.2 million dogs and cats were euthanized in shelters each year [American Humane Association Shelter Reporting Study]. These numbers were estimates, and if accurate would have accounted for nearly one-fifth to one-fourth of the entire U.S. pet population
  • Nationwide, an estimated 6-8 million homeless kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs enter animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted.
  •  2.7 million adoptable pets are put down. The majority of animals euthanized are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions. 
  • millions of stray and feral cats who suffer and struggle for survival

Human Society of United States 
World Spay Day.Org

January – Walk Your Pet Month

imagesHere are some tips to winter proof your dog paws from salts and cold from CesarsWay.
Winter can be brutal on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns. Luckily, there are some tips and products out there that can help keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy this winter.
Many protective balms are available to help protect your dog’s paws, and even some human products can do the trick. Do your research. Once you find the balm that you like, take these steps:
Before using the balm, make sure the paw is ready. Good grooming is essential for healthy winter feet. If your dog has long hair use a clipper (beard trimmer with the shortest plastic guard equipped works well) to keep the hair between the paw pads short so that it is even with the pad. Trim the hair around the paws especially if they have a lot of feathering to make sure none of the hair comes into contact with the ground. This will help prevent ice balls from forming between and around the paw pads which can be painful and result in trauma. It also makes it easier to apply the balm to the pads. Keeping the nails trimmed is important year-round but even more so in the winter because long nails force the paw to splay out and make it more likely that snow and ice will accumulate between the paw pads.
Apply a thin even layer of balm just before going out for a wintery walk. After the walk wipe your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth to remove snow, ice and ice melt. Then apply another layer of balm to soothe any irritation and to keep them from drying out. Bag Balm can be found in most drug stores and pet stores. If you can’t find Bag Balm then Vaseline is an acceptable alternative.
Another good option to protect your dog’s paws is dog boots. These boots are made by various manufacturers and can be easily found online and in pet stores. They consist of a sock like boot with a Velcro strap to help keep them in place. Some have soles which provide the additional benefit of adding traction. These boots protect the paw by helping them stay dry and preventing exposure to salt and de-icers. Be sure to check that the strap is not too tight; the boot should be snug so that it doesn’t slip off but not so tight that it constricts the paw. Dogs tend to not to like wearing the boots at first so acclimate them to wearing them by putting them on your dog for short periods of time in the house. Praise them and gradually increasing the length of time as they get used to them.
Be aware that salt and most de-icers can be toxic to our canine friends. Try to keep your dog away from roads and sidewalks that have been heavily treated with salt and chemical de-icers. There are pet friendly de-icers available for use on your own sidewalks and driveway and you should encourage your neighbors to do the same. Immediately after a walk, wash your dog’s paws with warm water as described earlier to help prevent them from ingesting any salt or chemicals that may be on their paws. While outdoors, do not let your dog eat slush or drink from puddles near heavily treated roads and sidewalks.
Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just as people are so use common sense as to how long your walks can be. Keep them short and watch for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, anxiety and moving slowly.
Winter can be tough on our dog’s feet but good grooming and protecting the paws by using a balm or booties will go a long way to keeping your dog’s feet healthy.
Read more:

National Train Your Dog Month

A whole website dedicated to National Train Your Dog Month!
logo_tydm_v2In 2010 the Association of Pet Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT thought it was long overdue to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! We selected January as the perfect month because so many dogs and puppies are adopted or purchased from breeders and brought home during the winter holidays. Our desire is to help these new pet parents start off the new year right with their newest family member. Continue reading “National Train Your Dog Month”

Holiday Safeguards from the AKC

holiday-dogs-2011_0030-adjThe winter season brings lots of fun holiday festivities, but pet-owners should keep in mind the following special precautions:

  • The holidays are not ideal for introducing a pet into your family. New puppies and dogs require extra attention and a stable environment, which the holiday season doesn’t permit. Also, a puppy is not a toy or gift that can be returned. Instead, the AKC suggests giving a gift representative of the dog to come, such as a toy, a leash, or a bed.
  • Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are pet poisons! Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
  • Review holiday gifts for dogs to make sure they are safe. Items such as plastic toys and small rawhide sticks may be dangerous.
  • Remove holiday lights from lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn dogs.
  • Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and may get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place wires out of reach.
  • Avoid using glass ornaments. They break easily and may cut a dog’s feet and mouth.
  • Refrain from using edible ornaments. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to eat them. Also, commercial ornaments may contain paint or toxins in the preservatives.
  • Whether your tree is live or artificial, both kinds of needles are sharp and indigestible. Don’t leave your dog unattended in the room with the tree.
  • Tinsel is dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
  • Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep unhealthy, sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach.
  • The holiday season is a stressful time for dogs. Try to keep a normal schedule during all the excitement

Holiday Proofing Your Pets! by PetMD

print_logoThought you got stressed out by the holidays? Well, think about how stressful this time of the year can be for your pets! If you have family members visiting for the holidays, this blog is a must read so you will know how to educate your house guests on your pets’ safety. Here, the top 5 ways to holiday-proof your pets:

Tell Your Visiting Holiday House Guests the “Rules”
Don’t worry about hurting your house guests’ feelings. After all, it’s your house, and your pets’ safety trumps all two-legged feelings. Clearly communicate the rules to your holiday house guests: Don’t let the cat out, don’t feed the pets, don’t leave the doors open, put the toilet lid down, and make sure all the doors are closed securely behind you when leaving.
Avoid Plastic Zipper Storage Bags
One of the most common ways that people travel with their medications is to inappropriately store them in plastic zipper storage bags, which are easy for your dog to chew through. The majority of people who casually throw their medications into a bag don’t know a) how many pills are in there, b) what the name of the medication(s) are, or c) what the milligram strength is. If any of your visiting house guests happen to be on any medications or vitamins, make sure to educate them on how to properly store them while visiting your home. Make sure your house guests store them out of reach – not in the suitcase on the floor, where Fido’s nose could easy sniff them out!
Avoid Kitchen Foods
Don’t let your house guests feed any table foods to your pets. Non-pet owners may not be aware that simple kitchen toxins like grapes, raisins, currants, macadamia nuts, fatty foods, table scraps, onions, and garlic are poisonous to your dog and cat. Give them the simple instructions to not feed anything to your pet at all without asking you first.
Don’t Let Your House Guests Put Any Edible Presents Under the Christmas Tree
Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control based out of Minneapolis, gets called every day during the Holidays about Labradors who discover chocolate-covered espresso beans wrapped under the tree. As these boxes are not “pet-proof,” dogs can easily sniff them out and ingest multiple poisons all at once: chocolate, caffeine, fatty snacks, and nuts! Likewise, if you have cats in the household, make sure presents and gift bags are ribbon-free; when chewed and swallowed by cats, tinsel, ribbon and yarn can result in a life-threatening intestinal obstruction called a “linear foreign body.”
Lock Up Your Loved Ones (i.e., the pets)
While you may thing that you’re leaving Fido or Tigger out of the limelight of family activities, chances are that they prefer to be locked up in a quiet room where it’s stress-free. Visiting guests and their added commotion can be stressful to pets, and by providing a safe haven with food, water, toys, and a crate or litter box, your pet will be safer — and stress-free — from the holiday madness.

Dr. Justine Lee

Published on petMD (