Posts Tagged 'health'

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is two days out and many people are already thinking about the Christmas decorations!  Keep your pet’s health and safety in mind as the holiday dinners, lights and fun get underway with these tips from the ASPCA:

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

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Running with Fido: Looking for a reliable training partner? Here’s some tips for jogging with your pet

Really good article in the Kansas City Star:


When Jill Hourihan isn’t feeling up to her usual run, she looks to Alex for motivation. He’s not her $100-per-hour personal trainer; he’s her dog, a chow/golden retriever mix who doesn’t let her forget their regular runs.

“I really consider him my running coach,” she says. “Once he knows it’s time, he won’t leave me alone. He’ll just keep checking in with me to see when we’re ready to go.”

In addition to the companionship and protection her jogging buddy provides her, Hourihan said Alex gets perks, too.

“He went from being a shy, reclusive dog to becoming mayor of our walks – just a friendly, wonderful dog,” she says. Hourihan is such a fan, she opened her own dog-running service in the Boston area, Running the Pack, five years ago to help other dogs get in their daily run.

For owners looking to bring their pup along for a jog, there are many factors to consider. Here’s a guide to get you started.

Start at the Vet’s Office

Continue reading ‘Running with Fido: Looking for a reliable training partner? Here’s some tips for jogging with your pet’

Beware Fido’s Bottomless Pit

Info from the American Animal Hospital Association:

It’s no wonder dogs are great companions for cowboys. Dogs would eat steak and eggs every meal if given the choice. Most of a dog’s protein comes from meat and eggs. Fido, however, needs a complete, balanced diet. Cheese and milk are great sources of protein, although many dogs are sensitive to lactose products. Many premium dog foods provide a nutritionally balanced meal, so settling on one brand may boil down to what a pooch most enjoys. The ideal dog food is a low-fat, high-fiber one.

Puppies (dogs less than a year old) need food that provides extra protein, calcium, and iron— one specially formulated for their developing bodies.

Continue reading ‘Beware Fido’s Bottomless Pit’

Quality Caretaking in the Cold

Now that winter is upon us, it is more important than ever to keep our pets healthy and happy. Many animal lovers already know a few cold weather basics such as keeping antifreeze away from dogs and cats. However, as temperatures drop, there is more to caring for a pet.  Alaskan weather can be harsh; pets rely on us to keep them safe and comfortable. By being aware of the general condition and limitations of their four-legged friends, families can provide every pet with quality caretaking.

In the colder months of the year be prepared to change your routines according to the conditions. If your dog stays outside while you work during the warmer months, start indoor crate training or doggie daycare. If you bring your dog along in the car, consider the “refrigerator factor” of all that steel in the cold weather and adjust the time left in the vehicle appropriately. Use common sense to make decisions regarding your pets and keep their health and safety a priority.

Have your dog join you outdoors for winter fun!  Acclimate and condition your pet just like any athlete. Not every dog is up to climbing a mountain, but most can enjoy a winter outing when it is tailored to their individual needs and abilities. If your short-haired dog is accustomed to long walks, add booties and a coat to increase comfort.  Some elderly or arthritic dogs may need to be monitored carefully as the cold can cause stiffening and pain, so a shorter jaunt may be in order. Still, exercise is a must for you and your pet, so why not do it together to see real results in the bond between you?

Continue reading ‘Quality Caretaking in the Cold’

Surprising Toxins That Can Harm Pets

Many pet owners are aware that certain common household items are harmful and even deadly to pets.  Antifreeze, cleaners, and foods such as chocolate are known poisons to pets. However, there are also lesser known toxic materials that pets are often exposed to like compost and even mushrooms. I found this out when our dog Spiderman suddenly lost control of his bladder, seemed light-sensitive and “had a drunken stupor” (staggering and confused);  all symptoms of toxic poisoning.

We rushed Spiderman to the vet where he was tested first for antifreeze poisoning.  He didn’t appear to have ingested antifreeze so they questioned me about other possible causes: chocolate, household cleaners or medicine, large amounts of onions or garlic.  Then our vet mentioned compost as a possible poison, and even naturally occurring mushrooms or plants.  Our compost and garbage are fenced off from the dog area so I knew he hadn’t had access to compost.  However, Continue reading ‘Surprising Toxins That Can Harm Pets’

Rx For A Better Life? Get A Pet, And Do It Now

This article was passed onto me and although it was published some time ago, I thought it was worth sharing!!

ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2001) — COLLEGE STATION, – It might be the prescription of the future: Take two aspirin and get a pet immediately.

Numerous studies have shown that pets – or at least the presence of animals – can have medical benefits that are beyond dispute. These range from lowering blood pressure to lessening anxiety and depression and even to faster healing times after surgery.

Fido is no placebo – he can literally be man’s best friend when people are ailing.

Continue reading ‘Rx For A Better Life? Get A Pet, And Do It Now’

Cat Training and Agility – Seriously!!

For many cat owners, keeping their kitty healthy and active can be a challenge.  Many do not know that training is possible with cats, and in fact a great way to have fun with your pet while keeping them fit and away from destructive behavior!

The following is information from the American Animal Hospital Association website:

Go, Cat, Go! Get your cat off of the couch with agility training

Feline agility?

We know what you might be thinking. The chances of getting your cat to do agility are about as likely as:

  • Winning the lottery
  • Getting struck by lightning
  • Your cat finally accepting that you are the master of the house

Yet cats around the country are competing in agility competitions or doing courses in their own homes.

Still don’t believe it?

Check out this video:

Continue reading ‘Cat Training and Agility – Seriously!!’

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