Climate change doesn’t just affect habitats for wildlife. It’s also affecting cats and dogs.
Fleas and ticks are getting smaller, but there are more of them, they eat more often, and they’re causing problems in what used to be the colder months.
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, but those mosquitoes — which used to be found only in certain regions — are now carrying the disease all over the United States.
Increased temperatures have turned kitten season into a year-long event instead of a spring ritual. The weather is even disrupting hibernation for a California woman’s pet tortoises.
NASA recently declared that 2015 was the hottest year on Earth in 136 years of record-keeping with an average temperature of 58.62 degrees.
Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and dogs gotta chew. But as much as dogs love it, the painful dental problems that sometimes accompany their chomping habits aren’t quite as enjoyable.
A broken tooth exposes the delicate pulp and nerve endings, making life extremely painful for the pet. Food and other debris can get impacted in the fracture and attract bacteria, leading to infection, the loss of a tooth or worse. In other words, it’s not much fun. The most common signs of dental problems are excessive drooling (especially in a pet who doesn’t normally salivate much), not eating or favoring one side of the mouth.
Crack the Bad Habit
Broken teeth are unfortunately a common problem with dogs. Aggressive chewing on hard objects (rocks, fencing, etc.) or on hard treats (cow hooves, bones and hard nylon toys) are the primary cause. To prevent broken teeth and destructive chewing, dental experts recommend regular exercise and special doc-approved toys to distract them from the bad ones. For extremely aggressive chewers, get a large toy the pet can’t get his mouth around or offer softer chews. Veterinarian’s rule of thumb: Don’t give your pet any chew toy that’s hard enough that you wouldn’t want it to hit you in the knee.
Mark Your Calendar
Just as the human family gets regular dental examinations and cleanings, you should take your pet to the veterinarian at least yearly for a comprehensive physical examination that will include a look at your pet’s entire mouth. If your pet is having problems sooner, don’t wait for the well-pet exam — dental problems really hurt! Dental cleanings under anesthesia are a regular part of a preventive-care regimen for many dogs, as is at-home care such as brushing. Ask your veterinarian what’s best for your pet’s teeth and gums, both to prevent problems and to fix them.
Courtesy of VetStreet
Soaking up winter sunshine, breathing in fresh, clean winter air and bonding with your pet while exercising all make spending time outdoors with your pet worth the layers of clothes you need to keep warm! Another benefit of outdoor activity during the winter that you might not think about is weight gain: not yours, but your pet’s. Keep your pet active indoors and outdoors to avoid gaining winter weight—in fact what better way to keep you both in shape, than to take daily walks even in winter.
To avoid hidden hazards covered with snow in your yard, we recommend that part of your fall clean up each year be safely discarding and/or safely storing lawn, garden and other warm weather chemicals used in your yard and home. This includes fertilizers, weed killers, insect and rodent poison but also antifreeze you’ve purchased to winterize your vehicles. Also on your cleanup checklist should be removing debris, brush and other objects that, when covered with ice and snow, will present a new challenge or risk to your pet outdoors. If year round physical activity is one avenue to overall pet health, then incorporating a little pet-friendly yard preparation into your outdoor chores makes good sense. We know that things like antifreeze and other chemicals, sharp objects buried in snow, lack of shelter and food, and even dehydration from a lack of drinking water outdoors are all major risks to our pets during cold weather. Offer your dog water before and after outdoor activity and ensure that clean, fresh, unfrozen water is available outdoors for extended outdoor times. Other considerations for extended outdoor times are providing a covered, padded place to be sheltered from the weather; access to food and water; and a heat source available when the outdoor temperature is extreme. Keep an eye on the temperature outdoors, ice melt chemicals on sidewalks, streets and driveways, sharp edges of ice encrusted snow and frozen puddles; but with a little awareness of your surroundings outdoors, the benefits for you and your dog are worth it.
Another component of pet safety during the winter is safe travel. While most pet owners still don’t place their pets in animal-friendly harnesses or carriers while traveling in motor vehicles, more and more are. Understandably, pet owners may skip this aspect of travel with their pets because it seems unnecessary or takes too much extra time, however consider the fact that the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates pets moving inside vehicles is the third worst distraction to the driver and passengers. Additionally, pets can’t brace themselves against swerves and turns of the vehicle which often result from ice, snow and black ice on the roads mixed with vehicles. These unexpected movements can cause injury to pets as well as the human passengers on board. Beyond the added safety provided by a harness or carrier, this pet equipment is inexpensive; therefore cost is not an issue and the few minutes required to use them yields peace of mind and reduces the likelihood of severe injury during travel.
To learn more about cold weather safety,read on. We’re here to answer any questions or address any concerns you have, therefore feel free to call or email us with questions.
Maybe when you were naming your new cat or dog, you wanted to find a name that no one else thought of or something a bit unusual. Here are the top 10 most unusual dog and cat names according to a national pet insurer:
|1. Baron Von Furry Pants
||1. Leonardo DiCatprio
|2. Artoo Dogtoo
||2. Fuzz Lightyear
|3. Rosie Picklebottom
||3. Captain Pancake
|4. Parker the Barker
||4. Sir Nigel Meowmittens of Oscelot Court
|5. Abigail Carmichael Spartacus
||5. Ziggy Ollyoxenfree
|6. Smiley Cyrus
||6. Zelda Nacho
|7. Nutmeg Spice O’ Paris
|8. Abraham Lincoln Continental
||8. Cornelius McPudness Vandercat
|9. Bizkit Au Chocolat
||9. Sir Theodorable Purrsalot
|10. Scuddles Unterfuss
||10. Star Wars Steve
How does your pet’s name compare?
It’s that look … you know the one. It’s like he’s trying to say, “What? You’re leaving me?!” You can try explaining it to him again – for the millionth time – that he gets sick in the car and he’ll be miserable if you take him along. But your dog doesn’t understand what you’re saying. All he knows is that you’re going on vacation … and he’s not
Having a dog that gets car sick certainly presents its challenges when you’re planning a trip, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t all enjoy holidays and vacations together! We’ve got the tips to make sure you never have to face that look again.
Treating Motion Sickness in Dog
If you’re one of the dog owners who has a pup with motion sickness, you’re already familiar with its symptoms: excessive drooling, lip licking, panting, restlessness, shaking, vomiting, whining, and yawning. It’s enough to bring you to tears. And what makes it worse is that you know that your dog feels even more horrible than you do!
The good news is you can help relieve your dog’s discomfort in the car. Depending on the severity of your dog’s motion sickness, and the duration of any trips you’re considering with him, these tips may help him enjoy the ride:
- Travel on an empty stomach. Nausea is always worse on a full stomach, so on the day you’ll be traveling, reduce or skip your pup’s morning meal.
- Avoid watching the scenery go by. Looking out the windows at passing scenery may be triggering your dog’s motion sickness. Try one of these ideas to limit his view:
- Buckle him into a seatbelt harness and put sun shades over the widows near where he sits.
- If he rides in a carrier or crate, cover the sides with a towel or blanket to prevent him from looking out the windows (after properly securing it).
- Build a “dog fort” in the back seat by stretching a fitted sheet over the front and rear headrests.
- Consider a cap made from fabric that’s partially see-through to cover his eyes, like the ThunderCap from ThunderShirt.
- Keep the car cool and well ventilated. Lowering the windows a couple of inches will keep fresh air moving and also help equalize the air pressure inside and outside the car, which may help reduce your dog’s nausea and discomfort.
- Talk to your veterinarian about helpful medications. Certain medications that prevent vomiting due to motion sickness in dogs could relieve your dog’s symptoms.
Courtesy of GoPetFriendly.com