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October Out2News Bark Bytes Keeping Your Pet Well During National Pet Wellness Month

21 Sept Out2 BarkByte

Article by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com

The changing of leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween costumes may be the first thing you think of when the calendar shows October has arrived. But did you know it is also National Pet Wellness Month? There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with keeping a pet happy and healthy, below are five tips you can follow this month to make sure you’re on the path to more wagging and purring and less barking and hissing.

Annual Wellness Exam with your Veterinarian

This one might seem like a no-brainer but taking your pet for regular checkups with your vet is extremely important. Our dogs and cats can’t tell us when they are sick, so it’s up to us owners to schedule regular checkups. Preventative care is vital to the health of your pets.

Pet vaccines

When you’re at the vet, discuss your pet’s vaccines. They can effectively prevent potentially serious canine diseases like distemper, rabies, and hepatitis.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is an often overlooked but important factor in your dog’s overall health. Just like humans, dental hygiene should be a part of routine and yearly care for your pet. It doesn’t have to be too tricky at home either. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque and dirt, and most dogs are happy with them. Natural choices include rawhide or a knucklebone. Knucklebones are a softer bone that’s gentler on the teeth. To brush your pet’s teeth, purchase a special toothpaste that can be swallowed by dogs and cats. Human toothpaste is harmful! You can use a human toothbrush, just make sure the bristles are soft.

Exercise

Exercise your pet daily! Different breeds of dogs require different levels of exercise, so make sure you know how much activity your pet needs. Our feline friends sleep 23 hours a day, so good luck there! You can also exercise their little brains with fun activities like the Muffin Tin Puzzle. It’s an easy activity you probably already have most of the supplies for!

Check for fleas and ticks

Fleas and ticks can cause serious problems for your pets. Ticks can cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease while fleas can cause anemia and the annoying side effect of itching. Mosquitoes cause problems for pets as well as they can transmit heartworms. The good news is that heartworms, fleas, and ticks are all preventable with medication your veterinarian can recommend.

A healthy pet is a happy pet, so make sure you have a good relationship with your vet, stay vaccinated, and go for more walks! Even though it’s officially fall, outdoor pests are still very active until temperatures stay consistent.  Pet owners know all too well that keeping their animals healthy is a full-time job.

Introduce them to other animals and people. Socialization is key for young pets, and if a precedent for meeting others is set early in their lives, they will enjoy meeting more animals and people as they grow older.

How your pet looks and behaves this Fall, and when the calendar rolls over to November, keep those same habits to make sure your pet stays as healthy as possible for the rest of their life.

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PETS OF THE WEEK

Tuckerb

Tucker:

Tucker is a little over 7.5 years old and has been here at HSTC since January of 2021. He is a bit of an escape artist, but is oh so loving with people of all ages. He would prefer to be the only pet in his new home (he thinks cats are fun toys to chase and likes bossing other dogs around a bit too much). Tucker knows several basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “fetch”.
His adoption fee has been sponsored by Home Team Lending! If Tucker sounds like the pup for you, stop on by the HSTC main shelter to meet him or give us a call at 772-223-8822 for more information.

Wonderb

Wonder:

Wonder came to HSTC in January of 2021 when she wasn’t feeling well and her owner was not able to provide adequate care. We determined that Wonder was diabetic and quickly began regulating her diabetes with a special diet and insulin. Wonder is a very sweet, calm and quiet cat. She likes to be brushed and to watch out the window. Wonder is 13 years young and her adoption has been sponsored by a very generous donor! She is accepting visitors at the HSTC main shelter at 4100 SW Leighton Farm Ave. in Palm City, FL and can also be viewed online at hstc1.org.

The City of Fort Pierce Recipient of Florida Animal Friend Grant

21 Aug FL Animal Friend Logo

The City of Fort Pierce was recently awarded a grant from Florida Animal Friend, a not-for-profit spay and neuter program that helps control stray animal populations across Florida communities, safely.

The grant provided up to $15,000 to the City of Fort Pierce which will assist the Animal Control Department, and our community partners in addressing the growing feral cat issue in the city. The grant will help cover the cost of spay and neutering feral cats, a continuous burden due to their high breeding rate.

The grant was made possible through the continued support of the Florida Animal Friend Spay & Neuter specialty license plate. The purchase and annual renewal of each license plate helps fund the Florida Animal Friend and allows the program to save the lives of countless unwanted cats and dogs by providing grants to organizations that offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services across the state of Florida.

How To Help:
If you see or know of a feral cat issue in the community or wish to volunteer to help trap or transport the cats, please contact Animal Control by calling: 772-467-3720. Animal Control will notify our community partners who will safely ensure the cats are trapped, brought to a participating veterinarian, spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and returned without harm.

About Feral Cats:
Feral cats are wild cats and differ from stray cats which are homeless pets. Feral cats were born in the wild, live outdoors, and were never socialized to humans. You will often find them in a group, called a colony.

It is because of this group living, where uncontrolled breeding takes place, that TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) programs, like the one operated by the city, is so important to controlling the feral cat population. TNVR is considered the only humane way of controlling the feral cat population.

Learn more at: https://bit.ly/3xuGX4y

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BOO'S OCTOBER RECIPE CORNER

21 May Boo Chef

Create Tasty Treats At Home For Your Dog

My mom gets asked that a lot, why would you want to make homemade treats for Boo?

People don't know that dogs can actually suffer from food allergies just like humans. Cooking our treats is a great way to know exactly what is going into our food.
Maybe (like me) your furry friend is very food motivated and needs some low fat treats to help them keep the weight off. I love being spoiled and mom knows this! So why not make your furry friend some homemade treats?

Below are a few recipes my mom makes for me.  They are very yummy & healthy for all of us.  Make sure you watch out though sometimes mom will take a bite!

Turkey and Vegetable Dinner

Ingredients:
4 cups of water
1 pound of ground turkey
2 cups of brown rice
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup of green beans, chopped
1 tablespoon of fish oil (optional)

Instructions:
Cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through.
Add the brown rice, turkey, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the rice is soft and tender.
Add the carrots and green beans and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Allow to cool before serving.
Store extra dinners in the fridge for up to five days.
Pro tip: Avoid using heavy oil to brown the turkey. Its high fat content may upset your dog’s stomach.

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Frozen Yogurt Pops

I love to chase ice cubes around the kitchen! Try these frozen treats, I bet your dog will love them just like me. They’re made from ingredients that include fruit juice and carrots, which gives me more vitamin boost. I love yogurt that has calcium and protein and can help your dog digest their food.

This recipe calls for non-fat yogurt, which is a much healthier alternative.

Ingredients:

6-oz. container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
1 cup of no-sugar-added fruit juice
1/2 cup of carrots, minced

Instructions: 
Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a medium-size bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.
Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by the spoonful.
Freeze until the ingredients are solid.
Pro tip: Use hard plastic trays instead of softer rubber ones to make the treats. The treats are easier to remove from a hard tray.

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Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup of rolled oats
4 cups of low-salt chicken broth

Instructions:

Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small nickel-size chunks.
Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.
Add the chicken, vegetables, rolled oats, and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender (about 15 minutes).
Allow to cool before serving.
Store leftover casserole portions in the fridge for up to five days.

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Chicken Jerky

Ingredients:
2 to 4 chicken breasts

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees .
Remove any excess fat from the chicken. Turn the chicken breast on its side and use a paring knife to slice the chicken breast into 1/8-inch thick strips.
Set the strips on a baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours.
Check the chicken before removing it from the oven. It should be dry and hard, not soft or chewy. Allow the chicken to cool completely before serving.
Store the jerky in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Pro tip: You can substitute sweet potatoes for the chicken in this recipe. Sweet potatoes make a healthy, vegetarian alternative.

21 Aug Warm Weather
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Humane Society of the Treasure Coast Ranks in Top 8% in the Country for Fiscal Responsibility

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Palm City — For the seventh consecutive year, the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast has received the highest ranking possible — a coveted 4-star rating — from Charity Navigator for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 8% of the charities evaluated have received at least seven consecutive 4-star evaluations.

“Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work,” said Michael Thatcher, president & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only 8% of the charities we evaluate have received at least seven consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Humane Society of the Treasure Coast outperforms most other charities in America. This rating also sets this organization apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public.”

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These accountability and transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.

Thatcher added that astute donors are yearning for greater accountability, transparency, and for concrete results from Charity Navigator. The intent of its work is to provide donors with essential information to give them greater confidence in both the charitable decisions that they make and the nonprofit sector. Forbes, Business Week, and Kiplinger's Financial Magazine, among others, have profiled and celebrated Charity Navigator’s unique method of applying data-driven analysis to the charitable sector.

“We are honored and thrilled to know that such a well-respected organization has ranked us in the top 8% in the country,” said Frank Valente, president & CEO of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast. “Not only is this an endorsement of our dedicated team of employees, this consistent high ranking also reassures our donors that their donations are being used wisely to help our shelter animals.”

Charity Navigator uses an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system with the goal of guiding intelligent giving. For more information, visit www.charitynavigator.org.

Pets and Periodontal Disease

21 Jan Multi Cat and Dog Tooth

Article by: Blythe Coachella

Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult cats and dogs, yet too many pet parents overlook the importance of dental care for their fur babies.

By the age of three, nearly 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs develop gum disease.

Many pet parents believe offering a kibble diet is a proactive approach to keeping the teeth clean. This is a dangerous myth. In fact, the bacteria from starches in dry food (even grain-free dry food is loaded with starch) actually adhere to teeth, paving the way for bacteria (plaque) to stick. Once this hardens, it becomes tartar.

When plaque and tartar spread under the gum line (not visible), they begin to secrete toxins that damage tissue. The bacteria also stimulate the immune system causing inflammation. As white blood cells rush to destroy the bacteria invading the mouth, they become overwhelmed, releasing chemicals that can actually cause more damage.

The resulting tooth decay does more than affect the mouth – it can lead to serious chronic conditions including, gut and bowel disease, kidney disease, liver disease, joint problems, and heart disease.

Pets with dental problems often exhibit one or more of these symptoms:

Bad breath
Difficulty chewing
Discomfort while chewing
Drooling
Blood in the mouth
Pawing at the face
Discolored teeth
Red gums
Redness along the gum line
Behavioral issues (including aggression)
Diet can play a significant role in preventing dental disease

A raw food diet can be very beneficial for a pet’s dental health. Raw meat contains enzymes that are helpful in breaking down plaque and tartar. Be sure to feed a bio-appropriate raw diet that contains the proper ratio of meat, vitamins, minerals and fats. There are several excellent commercial foods as well as easy to follow homemade recipes for cats and dogs.

DIY Oral Care

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth! Aim for daily or at least a few times per week. Some pets actually enjoy it! The key is to start slowly by getting your cat or dog used to the feel of your finger against their teeth. After that, try either a finger brush or toothbrush made especially for pets. Just brush one tooth. Work your way up from there! There are many toothpastes made for pets (never use toothpaste meant for humans on your cat or dog).

If your pet will not tolerate toothpaste, brushing daily with a little water can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

There are also many enzyme-based dental products, including brushless gels, sprays, liquids and powders as well as wipes that work quite well for most cats and dogs. The enzymes help prevent bacteria/plaque build-up on the teeth.

Treatibles Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Dropper Bottles with MCT Coconut Oil

For pets suffering from mouth discomfort, with or without infection, Treatibles Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil Dropper Bottles featuring MCT coconut oil as the carrier oil, can offer relief. Coconut oil is recognized for helping support the body’s normal immune system response. It also contains antioxidants and can address infections and cuts. Treaibles Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil helps manage discomfort and supports the body’s normal inflammatory response. Simply rub the oil directly to the gums or gum line to provide comfort.

Be Wary of Dental Treats

On one hand, it is wonderful that pet parents are becoming more diligent in addressing their dog or cat’s oral health. On the other hand, many of the biscuits and treats on the market are low quality at best and can be harmful, at worst. There are very few regulations in place for oral care products.

Some of the top-selling treats are loaded with synthetic additives and preservatives. Some even contain BHA and BHT. Both of these preservatives have shown to be toxic.

When choosing any treats or food for your pet, it is best to avoid BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, tertiary butylhydroquinone and propyl gallate.

Some Pets Are Predisposed to Excessive Tartar Build-up

According to Karen Becker, DVM, Some raw fed pets that also chew raw bones still accumulate tartar on their teeth.

Brachycephalic (short-nosed) and toy breeds are often predisposed because their teeth don’t have normal alignment, and in the case of tiny dogs, there’s often a crowding problem. No matter how vigorously these dogs chew, it doesn’t remove all the plaque and tartar from their teeth.

Pets with chronic health conditions also seem to collect more tartar on their teeth. This could be due to less vigorous chewing, or it could be the result of changes in saliva quantity, gum health, the pH in the mouth, or other causes.

Many cats are also predisposed to have more tartar on their teeth, and kitties can present a special challenge because they don’t typically gnaw on bones as dogs do. Offering a skinless, raw chicken neck may entice your cat to chew more, and provide enough mechanical abrasion to keep her teeth free from plaque build-up.

This all brings us back to National Pet Dental Health Month

It is a reminder of how important it is to schedule an appointment with your vet so that your pet’s teeth, gums and whole mouth can be examined. The earlier an issue is caught, the better.

If professional cleaning is advised, blood work will be suggested to make sure your pet’s organs are healthy enough for anesthesia. Many people are concerned with how anesthesia can affect their pet. There are very strict protocols in place for dental exams to help ensure your pet stays safe throughout the procedure.

You may be familiar with non-anesthesia dentals for pets. While this practice does have its place in removing plaque and tartar, it is considered a cosmetic procedure.

Cleaning under anesthesia is a very thorough process. Not only will the vet remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and under the gum line, a full examination of the gums and entire oral cavity is also conducted.

While your pet is under anesthesia, dental radiographs (x-rays) can also be taken. This will allow the vet to assess the bone level around the teeth. It is the best way to determine if extractions or other oral surgery is necessary.

If your cat or dog is exhibiting any signs of dental disease, including yellow teeth or red gums, please consult with your veterinarian. During the month of February, many veterinary practices are offering special discounted pricing on dental exams and cleanings.

(772) 283-3756

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Dog Skin Problems

21 Jan Itchy Dog Photo

Article & Photo by: Alex Jew

Your furry friend can have an itch that he must scratch, however, sometimes the itch can be problematic and if not treated correctly, it can lead to a very sick pooch.

Dogs with Itchy Skin

Pruritus is the terminology for dogs with itchy skin. This is one of the most common reasons that pet owners visit their veterinarian in Collierville. If your dog is persistently itching and scratching, it can keep him up all night and this in turn can keep you up all night. In addition to feeling terrible, your dog can develop secondary infections as they scratch until their skin as lesions and loss of hair from their nails and teeth.

Dogs with Allergies

Your dog can have skin allergies, just as humans do. Allergies can make your dog very itchy. There are three categories of allergies: flea allergies, environmental allergies and food allergies. It is important to find which of these is the culprit, so your dog gets the treatment he needs and becomes itch free and happy again. The treatment for flea allergies includes treating all the pets in your household and your home and yard to alleviate the allergy. Some dogs are allergic to mite dander, pollen, or even some types of grass. This type of allergy may involve allergy shots or medications to get it under control. Food allergies are solved with a very strict food elimination diet, which may take some time, but in the end, it will give you and your dog a great relief with a visit to your animal hospital.

Hot Spots and Sores

External parasites, mainly fleas and mites can cause hot spots and sores on your dog's skin. These items can spread quickly and appear as red and sticky sores. If you notice this, he needs veterinarian attention immediately.

Dog Hair Loss

If your dog is losing hair, it's important to determine the cause with a skin scraping at your local animal hospital. It may be parasites, a thyroid disease or even an adrenal disorder. Your vet can do an exam, decide if the loss of hair is secondary to a systemic disorder and then provide a course of action.

What to Know When Adopting a Senior Pet

Article by: Mark Downs

When most people think of adopting a pet, their first thought is a puppy or kitten. Senior pets are often overlooked at the shelter, and they can have a difficult time adjusting to shelter life. But these “wiser” dogs and cats just might be the perfect match for your family.

Before adopting a pet, it’s best to match your lifestyle with the type of pet you get. It’s not just the breed to think about — age plays a big factor in how much training, exercise, and overall care they’ll need. Puppies and kittens aren’t right for every family, as there is a lot of energy, accidents, and training (especially with puppies) involved to get through the early stages of their lives.

Adopting a senior pet might be a great option — they’re easy-to-love, potty trained, and often require less exercise than their younger counterparts. And, you can teach a dog (or cat!) new tricks or train them out of behaviors you don’t like.

What classifies a pet as “senior”?
Dogs and cats become seniors at different points in their lives. Cats are thought to be senior between the ages of 7 and 11, while dogs are considered senior between the ages of 7 and 9 (large breeds will become senior sooner, while small breeds become senior later)[1]. While it’s not always the case, older dogs and cats may have preexisting conditions. However, these are usually already diagnosed, being treated, or successfully managed, making it easier for you to anticipate what medical care your pet will need. It’s important to keep in mind that age is not a disease — older pets can be just as healthy as younger ones!

How to adopt a senior pet
So, what might you expect when you adopt a senior pet? A lot of times, senior pets are fostered rather than housed at your local shelter. This is because older dogs and cats often have a harder time in the shelter environment after spending most of their lives in a comfortable home. The foster parent will likely be able to give you some real-world insight into how your prospective pet has done with other pets, children, and even a variety of sights, sounds, and objects in the home. If the dog or cat is being fostered, your local animal shelter or foster organization will need to coordinate a time for you to meet with your potential pet.

How to care for a senior pet
Now that you've given a sweet senior pet a new home, it’s time to give them a great life. Did you know that only 14% of senior pets undergo regular health screenings by their veterinarian[2]? That’s a shame, since if disease or pain were caught earlier, these pets would live longer, happier lives. And in the long run, catching things earlier can save you money. Make sure to have your veterinarian run point-of-care tests such as blood chemistry, urine, and hematology tests to establish a baseline of their health and to take disease prevention measures.

When you adopt a senior pet, you’re giving them a stable, loving home to live out their years — and they’ll repay you in joy and all the couch snuggles you can handle.

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Chews Recipe

Article By: Dr. Sam Gilbert
With the holidays right around the corner, get your pups feeling festive with this sweet potato dog chews recipe. Sweet potatoes are a great treat option for dogs since they are low in calories and provide a good source of fiber (which offers many digestive benefits). Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as other important minerals including potassium, iron, and beta-carotene.

If you're tempted to let your pets indulge in other holiday inspired dishes, check out our Thanksgiving pet safety tips for more information about toxic and dangerous foods to avoid for your pets.

Chews this recipe to give your dog a great holiday treat!

Ingredients:
1 or 2 raw sweet potatoes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250°F.

Wash the sweet potatoes (as you would preparing any potato).

Slice sweet potatoes at ¼ inch either lengthwise or into coins, depending on the desired size of the chews.

Place the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven at 250°F for approximately 3 hours*.

* Note: This results in a chewier texture, but you can bake longer to give them more crunch.

For more information call them
at 561-818-5025.

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