Out2News Pets

21 Feb 6 Mar Camp BOw Wow
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HSTC Pets of the Week

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Walter a

Walter:
Walter is a wonderful gentleman of a cat; at 14 years old he has aged like a fine wine and has developed the perfect purr-sonality. Walter is one of the sweetest, loving kitties here at HSTC and has quickly become a staff and volunteer favorite. Walter arrived at HSTC as a stray in December and is ready to spend his remaining senior years in a loving home. Walter and all of his adoptable friends can be viewed online at hstc1.org.

Sasha a

Sasha:
Sasha has often been described as a “happy wiggle bum”. She is a playful people-pleaser and will be even happier when she finds her fur-ever home. While she will destroy stuffed toys, Sasha can often be found carrying her beloved Nyla bones around with her on all her walks. Sasha would prefer a home with no cats and needs a very formal introduction to any potential doggie siblings. She is a nearly 7 years young and her adoption fee has been sponsored by a very generous donor! If Sasha sounds like she might be the one for you, please give us a call at 772-223-8822 to schedule an appointment to meet with her.

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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.

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OUT2NEWS FEBRUARY BARK BYTE February is National Pet Dental Health Month

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.

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Featured Pet of the Month - Sweetie - Humane Society of St. Lucie County 

20 Nov Humane Society of St Lucie Logo

Woof You Be My Valentine?

Sweetie:

Sweetie is 8 years old. She gets along great with other dogs and loves to spend time with her best friend, Petunia. Sweetie knows all the basic commands and is a medium – low energy dog. She loves going on walks and sitting back while enjoying the sunshine. Sweetie is an amazing and loving dog once you get to know her, but she will need a patient family that will allow her to warm up and get comfortable with.

Come visit Sweetie at our shelter! Our shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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21 Feb Fur Seasons Free Night a
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Plans in the Works for a Bow-Wow-Meow Luau to Help Shelter Pets

2021 Paws and Claws Committee members a

Palm City - Expect to see leis and straw skirts at this year’s Paws & Claws gala, which benefits the shelter animals at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast. That is because the gala theme is the Bow-Wow-Meow Luau. Slated for March 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, this outdoor, open-air, and free-roaming venue will allow for social distancing and masking to add to the guests’ safety. All details are being carefully planned and executed with the health and safety of guests being top priority.

Guests will be treated to an authentic island revue performed by professional entertainers from the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Show, a South Florida landmark. In flavorful fashion, Little Moir’s Hibiscus Street Catering (same owners as Little Moir’s Food Shack and Little Moir’s Leftovers in Jupiter) will serve a taste of the tropics with a variety of mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres. Island cocktail attire is suggested.

Afterwards, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., guests may opt to take in a VIP experience, which includes a starlight cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard The Island Princess, cocktails, and musical entertainment. Tickets are $185 per person and $225 per person for the VIP experience.

“The success of our shelter and our programs depends entirely upon community support,” said HSTC President & CEO Frank Valente. “We’re not affiliated with any other humane society, nor funded by the Humane Society of the United States. We look to the community to help us in achieving our mission: To provide compassionate care and nurture the bond between people and pets.”

Dedicated volunteers Kit Haas and Shaun Kelly are leading the committee in organizing the event. They are joined by committee members Katie Astras, Barb Bucci, Jennifer Campbell, Dixie Church, Diane Coakley, Dana Coates, Carol Dippy, Tracy Ferguson, Cindy Greenspan, Debbie Hansen, Cindi Hobbs, Dr. Linda Kardos, Bev Mauermann, Allola McGraw, Eileen Morris, Jennifer Renfro and Kay Ziegler.

The presenting sponsor is Stryker Electric & Air. Major sponsors are Carl’s Buick GMC and the Samuel M. and Alma Catsman Foundation. Additional event sponsors include Apex Pavers & Pools, Saelzer Atlas Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, JetLoan Capital, Rick Carroll Insurance, Camp Bow Wow, and Wagnolia’s.

The annual Paws & Claws gala is the most prestigious and successful shelter animal fundraiser on the Treasure Coast benefiting Martin County’s only open-access, no-kill, nonprofit animal welfare organization. Like-minded individuals come together for an enchanting and memorable evening as friends of the animals join forces to raise critical funds for shelter pets in need.

Funds raised also help support the pet adoption program, a low-cost spay/neuter surgical program, a multitude of humane education programs and its lifesaving Emergency Medical Fund. All combined, these programs have continued to allow the HSTC to provide life-saving care and essential services to more than 6,000 animals each year.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and/or to make a reservation, call Courtney Zanetti at 772-600-3211 or email her at czanetti@hstc1.org.

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21 Jan Humane Society Flyer

FDA Announces Recall of Pet Food After More Than 25 Dogs Die

20 Dec FDA

Article by: Jordan Williams

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of nine lots of pet food after the deaths of more than 25 dogs.

Midwestern Pet Foods issued a voluntary recall of nine lots of its Sportmix pet food after testing by the Missouri Department of Agriculture found they contained very high levels of aflatoxin, which in sufficient amounts can cause illness and deaths in pets.

The FDA said it is aware of at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the food.

Pets affected by aflatoxin poisoning can experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite and vomiting, the agency said.

Aflatoxin is produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grown on corn and other grains used in pet foods, according to the FDA. It can be present even if there is no visible mold.

The agency added that there’s no evidence suggesting pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning, but it still advises them to wash their hands after handling pet food.

The agency said it is conducting follow-up activities at the manufacturing facilities.

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.

Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center

21 Jan Training Center

Jane and Shirley Wurz held lifelong commitments to the welfare of animals and were both deeply invested in our humane society. Jane's goal was for HSTC to be able to offer low-cost training at all levels to the public, from basic to utility, because she knew the joy trained dogs can bring to their owner.

To make her vision a reality, Jane made a $1 million gift to build the Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center. After more than 12 months of construction, we are excited to announce that this project is officially complete.

Now that the Jane & Shirley Wurz Training Center is open, this 4,500 square-foot building will serve as the region's largest indoor training facility for dogs. Our obedience training classes have officially moved to this new building, located next to our agility field, which now allows classes to be held seven days a week!

Training Schedule

First Mobile Adoption Location for Dogs made Possible by the Fur Seasons Resort for Pets

20 Dec Fur Seasons Adopt

We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Fur Seasons Resort for Pets. Thanks to their generosity and commitment to the animals, we are now offering our FIRST mobile adoption location for shelter dogs!

The lucky dogs who get to stay at the Fur Seasons will live the good life while they wait to find their forever home. During their stay, HSTC adoptable dogs will enjoy full days of enrichment activities and play time in the indoor playroom, outdoor yards, and even a bone-shaped swimming pool! After their busy days, our shelter pups can rest easy in their very own bedroom.

Stop by the Fur Seasons to meet our adoptable dogs and see if it's the right match for you! View our adoptable pets online at www.hstc1.org/pet-search.

If you' are an individual or business interested in underwriting or sponsoring the adoption fee of these shelter dogs, please reach out to Courtney Zanetti, HSTC Director of Community Outreach, at czanetti@hstc1.org or (772) 600-3211.

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Hunter's Life Enriched through CIT Foster

20 Dec Hunter HSTC

Last month, we kicked off a new foster program at HSTC, called Canine in Training (CIT) Fosters, which is made up of a core group of HSTC fosters that are committed to training and enriching our shelter dog’s lives in foster homes. Most of the dogs eligible for this program have never been trained or have had the opportunity to simply be a dog, so the love, consistency, and training they would be granted through the CIT Foster program is instrumental to their adoption success.

One of our shelter dogs, Hunter, has been in his CIT foster home for only a month, but has already shown outstanding improvement! His CIT foster has learned that Hunter loves exercising and running in their fenced-in yard, but otherwise he is very calm and quiet in the house, without any signs of anxiety. Hunter rarely barks and even self-crates at night most of the time! During his time with his CIT foster family, Hunter has been very easy to train, learning new skills like fetch, stay, and heel. He has proven to be a loyal companion to his people, cooperative in baths, and very communicative.

Although Hunter is surely learning a ton and enjoying his time with his CIT foster, he still wants a forever home and adopted family. Through his continued training and stay in foster, Hunter will surely make a wonderful pet in a dog-free home (he wants the attention for himself!). If you are interested in meeting Hunter for potential adoption, please call our shelter at 772-223-8822.

Those interested in becoming a CIT Foster should note that there should not be any small children or other pets in the home. To learn more or to sign up, please contact Sarah Fisher by email at sfisher@hstc1.org or by phone at (772) 600-3217.

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20 Nov Humane Society of St Lucie Logo
Cole

Article by: Shannon Glendinning

Cole weighs about 80 pounds. He is house-trained, loves the couch, and severely allergic to children and cats. Cole is fully trained and has served as the “neutral dog” in the shelter – he loves all dogs and he’s the big man on campus. Cole is probably one of the best behaved dogs you could ever meet.

Come visit Cole at our shelter! Our shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. For directions to our shelter, click here.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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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.

Is Your Pet at Risk for Diabetes?

20 Nov Diabetes

Article by: Dr. Richard Goldstein

Diabetes mellitus is a condition that can affect dogs and cats as well as humans. Although diabetes can’t be cured, it can be managed very successfully. There are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of a pet getting diabetes, so it’s important to be familiar with them and keep an eye out.

Risk factors of diabetes in dogs

Age (dogs that are 5 years old or older)
Being unspayed for females dogs
Breeds that appear predisposed to diabetes[1]:
Australian Terrier
Bichon Frise
Cairn Terrier
Fox Terrier
Keeshond
Lhasa Apsos
Miniature Poodles
Miniature Schnauzer
Samoyeds
Spitzes
Toy poodles
Yorkshire Terriers.

If your dog has one or more of these risk factors, ask your veterinarian about diabetes testing.

Risk factors of diabetes in cats

Being neutered
Obesity
Age
Physical inactivity
Breeds that appear predisposed to diabetes:
Burmese cats[2]
If your cat has one or more of these risk factors, ask your veterinarian about diabetes testing.

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Minimize Separation Anxiety During Extended Stays at Home

20 Aug Anxiety

Getting stuck at home can be a great excuse to spend more time with your dog. However, once your stay has come to an end, don’t expect your dog to be happy about you going back to work or spending longer periods of time away. They may not understand why, all of the sudden, you are leaving again. While you’re away, they may begin to show signs of distress, like barking and destructive chewing, and even have potty accidents or episodes of self-harm. These signs can be caused from Isolation Distress (ID) or Separation Anxiety (SA).

Dogs with ID show distress while alone. Their symptoms subside as long as someone is with them. They are not particular as to who. They may even be fine with another dog or animal in the home with them.

Dogs with SA show distress when one particular person is gone. They could be home with others in the family but still show symptoms of SA.

Seeing dogs with ID or SA is heartbreaking. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian for help. And there are also some measures you can take at home to help prevent the onset of ID and SA. Here are some tips to try during your extended home stay:

Keep a schedule. Changes in routine can be challenging for your dog. Make sure you keep as close to your regular schedule as possible. For example, if you normally take morning walks, keep those walks at the same time during your extended time at home.

Create a crate routine. If your dog normally stays in their crate while you are away, practice keeping them in their crate for short periods of time while you are home and gradually lengthen the time they are crated.

Practice leaving the house for short periods of time. Not being home, even for brief intervals, can help maintain a sense of normalcy and help prevent your dog from becoming too dependent on your presence.

Keep leaving and coming home low-key. Building excitement during your leaving increases your dog’s excitement and can amplify SA symptoms. Also, don’t make your return a party! Say a quick hello and do not interact until your dog is calm.

Desensitize signals that you are leaving. We tend to create patterns of behavior before leaving the house which can cause a buildup of tension in your dog and ultimately be a precursor to separation anxiety.

Typical cues can be:

Getting your coffee/ making breakfast

Putting on your shoes

Grabbing your keys

Walking to the front door

Jiggling the handle of the front door

Opening the front door

To desensitize, practice the cues randomly throughout the day. The idea is that you will present the cues but NOT actually leave. This will help undo the classical conditioning between the cues and you leaving, preventing anxiety build-up.

To take it a step further, you could even pair the cues with positive rewards like praise and treats, which work to change the conditioned response in your dog’s brain. The goal is to have your dog respond to your “leaving” cues with expectation of a reward rather than anxiety about you leaving.

Once you return to your normal routine, here are a few more tips to continue preventing ID and SA:

Provide regular mental and physical exercise
Use calming products like plug-ins and sprays to help create a sense of calm.
While getting to spend more time with your dog is the positive side to being stuck at home for long periods, it is important to take steps during your stay to prevent Separation Anxiety.

Seasonal Allergies

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20 Aug Dog Photo

Article by: Pet MD & Robin Hall - Out2News

Many pet owners are all too familiar with their own seasonal allergies, from pollen to mold to insect bites. But what about your dog’s allergies? Pets can suffer from seasonal allergies just as much as their owners, and it is important to recognize the symptoms of summer allergies in dogs to help your pet find relief.

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
Dogs are subject to the same seasonal allergy triggers as many humans, and may be allergic to tree and grass pollen, mold, insect stings, flea bites, feathers, and other allergens that have seasonal fluctuations. A pet’s allergen intolerance can develop over time, and a dog may suddenly seem to be allergic when no allergy symptoms have been obvious in the past. This can also be the result of a change in local conditions, such as planting new trees or bushes in the yard that produce excessive pollen that will trigger the dog’s allergies, or moving to a new area with a different climate and different allergen load. As a dog ages its sensitivity to different allergens may change, and allergy symptoms may become more acute and noticeable.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Your dog can’t tell you how it feels about allergy symptoms, but there are physical indications of allergic reactions that every pet owner should be aware of. Depending on the type of allergen and the severity of a dog’s reaction, allergy symptoms could include:

Excessive itching or licking, especially of the paws, groin, or bare skin
Red, swollen, or watery eyes or excessive eye discharge
Runny nose
Sneezing fits
Swollen paws
Hives, rashes, or other visible skin irritation
Chronic ear infections
Hair loss

If your dog shows signs of potential allergic reactions, consult your veterinarian for a proper allergy diagnosis. This will help gauge exactly which allergens are most irritating to your pet, as well as how severe their reactions may be. Allergies can be diagnosed by both skin tests and blood tests, and your vet will ask questions about the animal’s reactions, changes in local conditions, when the symptoms are most severe, and whether there have been any recent dietary changes or other factors that could be causing similar reactions.

Managing Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies

Once your dog’s seasonal allergies have been identified, there are many different options to manage the problem and provide relief. Depending on the severity of the allergies and the exact allergens that most impact your pet, you may want to consider…

Medication: Your vet could prescribe allergy medications, including antihistamine or steroid pills, to help manage your dog’s reactions. Topical creams may also be effective.

Injections: Pets with moderate to severe seasonal allergies may need regular allergy shots. You can easily administer these at home, and gradually build up the dose to give your pet relief.

Nutrition: Adjusting your dog’s diet to nourish healthy skin can help the animal resist mild allergy symptoms. Adding the proper fatty acids to the dog’s diet can be effective.

Baths: Removing allergens from your dog’s skin with soothing baths can minimize allergic reactions. Avoid perfumed soaps or shampoos, however, which could aggravate tender skin.

Wiping Paws: Wiping your dog’s paws and underbelly after every walk or outside playtime can remove irritating allergens from bare skin, minimizing allergic reactions.

Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding and toys will remove many allergens. Similarly, vacuum and clean flooring, draperies, and upholstery regularly to minimize indoor allergens.

Air Quality: Improve indoor air quality by using allergen-reducing air filters to help your pet breathe easier. In damp areas, a dehumidifier can reduce mold that may trigger allergies.

Exposure: If your pet reacts to specific plants, avoid playing or walking where those plants are abundant. Remove strong allergens from your yard to give your pet a safe place to play.

Booties: Wearing pet socks, boots, or booties can help dogs with very sensitive feet avoid the most common allergens, and the footwear can easily be washed.

Pest Control: If your dog reacts to flea bites or insect stings, take steps to make your home and yard less hospitable to those insects, and consider flea treatments or other preventative measures.

Seasonal allergies cannot be cured, but once you recognize summer season allergies in your dog, you can take steps to minimize any reactions and discomfort. For the best results, use multiple techniques to keep your pet healthy and comfortable, and stay alert to any changes or additional reactions that may indicate different allergy developments. With proper care, your dog can have a happy, comfortable life with minimal allergy complications.

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Keeping your Pet Busy During Quarantine Time

Pet at Computer

Article by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com

DogTV is worth booting up for pooch pleasure

The only thing better than binge-watching episodes of “Friday Night Lights” or “The West Wing” while social distancing is doing so with a furry friend. When you take a break or read a book, though, log onto DogTV so they can have some entertainment, too. There’s currently a 30-day free trial period for the streaming website, which features several canine-friendly videos for stimulation, relaxation and exposure. (Also on tap: lots of helpful how-to videos for owners, including how to make liver pate!) It’s pretty fun for a human to watch, too, with all kinds of cute dogs, though the soothing music might put you and nearby companions in a napping mindset.

Playing outside is refreshing but keep it fun inside, too

In a period of self-isolation, it’s still OK to walk your dog in your neighborhood or, if you have a fenced-in backyard, let them loose to run around. Invest in a Chuckit! launcher or just grab a tennis ball and play fetch – it’s especially fun if you have a young child who needs some exercise, too. The fun doesn’t have to end inside, though. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys where dogs have to use their noggins to get a snack are good to have around the house (especially if you’re trying to get work done or homeschooling your human children), rubber toys and plastic keys are favorite chewing items, but also have options like ropes for tug of war where you can also have a blast.

Healthy treats will help everybody get through mealtime

Being home a lot more means a lot more meals where hungry pups might be hanging around begging or at least annoyingly parked at your feet. That might be a good time for a treat, though don’t make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you’re having one. Instead, opt for apple slices, celery or carrots that will quell their taste buds as you finish up. (Good luck getting them off your case if you’re making a steak sandwich.)

Show them all the love

Engaging with your pet is important – maybe you want to take funny pictures of them to send to social-distancing relatives or re-create famous movie scenes for a blog (pictures are what I'm all about). Some extra care and attention are also key because if this coronavirus crisis is stressing you out, they’ll feel it, too. If your dog loves napping next to you, have a stack of blankets for snuggling. Or if your dog is more like a cat, let him have enough alone time. A bond between human and canine is strong, and fostering that will help everybody through tough times.

Questions Answers for Your Pets During Coronavirus Pandemic

Mar Cesar

Article by: Cesar Pet Products

Can my Pet Catch Coronavirus?

There is no evidence that pets can be infected with the human COVID-19 virus and no evidence they can be a source of infection to people. Coronaviruses tend to be species specific, i.e., dogs and cats have their own version of the virus and are not affected by human viruses.

Should my pet wear a mask?

There’s no scientific evidence that masks protect pets from infectious diseases or air pollutants. Pets’ faces are more varied than human faces so a mask is unlikely to fit properly. We can't explain to pets why we are putting something on their face so they may get scared.

Is There a Risk my Pet Could get Coronavirus From Your Food?

Please be assured that the current coronavirus outbreak does not pose a food safety risk to humans or pets, either through packaging or the food itself. The processing conditions involved in the production of our food products are sufficient to destroy the virus.

What's the Best Way to Protect my Pet From Getting Coronavirus?

There's no evidence that pets can be infected with the human COVID-19 virus and no evidence they can be a source of infection to people. We recommend:
- thorough hand-washing
- keeping pets away from anyone infected
- confining pets if they've been around someone infected

I Can't Get my Usual Food. Is it OK for me to Switch Diet?

Yes! Ideally, choose a similar food (dry or wet) and slowly incorporate small amounts of the new food over the course of one week to ensure that a sudden change does not cause a dietary upset.

Should I still take my pet for a walk?

Absolutely - take your pet for a walk on a leash, preferably with limited to no interaction with other people or pets. It's good for you too.

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Feb Peridonatal

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PETS ON THE RIGHT DIET 

Mar Dogs on Diet

Article by: Latasha Ball

Does your dog have food allergies? Here’s why a limited ingredient formula may be the best way to accommodate her dietary needs.

Is your dog licking her paws excessively? Does she seem to be itching her ears or body at every available moment? Chances are she may be suffering from food or environmental allergies. But how do you know for sure? And if it is a food allergy, what type of diet is best for your pup? Let’s look into this further.
Food allergies: what are they and how do they affect my dog?

Food allergies are immune system reactions to a certain ingredient that your dog is exposed to. Symptoms can include itchy skin, hives, upset stomach, swollen facial features, and reoccurring ear or paw infections. Typically, food allergies develop when a dog has been exposed to the same ingredient repeatedly throughout her life. “Some think that rotating protein and fiber sources in your dog’s diet may help to minimize the occurrence of food allergies,” says veterinarian Dr. Bradley Quest. “Although this is not scientifically proven, it may help some individuals because the dog’s immune system is not constantly exposed to the same food ingredients all the time.”

According to Dr. Quest, a food intolerance – as opposed to an allergy – can occur at the initial exposure to a specific food ingredient and is usually not a result of an immune system reaction. “Food intolerances usually manifest as gastrointestinal symptoms,” he says. Gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs consist of but are not limited to a change in appetite, changes in stool quality or quantity, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
How to know if your dog has a food allergy

The best way to know if your dog has a food allergy is to talk with your veterinarian. He or she knows your dog best, and can properly diagnose your pup. Once the diagnosis is made, your vet may put your dog on a food elimination diet – a diet that involves feeding your dog a single protein and a single fiber source for anywhere from 8–12 weeks as needed. If you notice during this period that your dog’s allergic symptoms do not surface or reoccur, then you can rule that the allergy was not the result of the ingredients she was eating.

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Do Dogs Dream?

Whether or not dogs dream isn’t known with scientific certainty, but it sure is difficult to imagine that they don’t. We’ve all watched our dogs demonstrate behaviors in their sleep that resemble what they do in a fully awake state. Paddling legs, whining, growling, wagging tails, chewing jowls, and twitching noses inspire us to wonder what our dogs are dreaming about.

What we know about dogs and dreams

While our knowledge on this topic is very limited, the following known information helps us believe that dogs do indeed experience dreams. When we observe our dogs as they sleep, it’s just about impossible to imagine that they are not dreaming. Just like the rats studied by Wilson and Louie, it is tempting to believe that our four-legged best buddies are reenacting their recent experiences; playing at the dog park, sniffing in the woods, chewing on a treasured bone, and chasing squirrels.The National Institutes of Health says that Sigmund Freud theorized that dreaming was a “safety valve” for our unconscious desires. Perhaps he is correct, and, when our dogs sleep, they dream about catching the neighbor’s pesky cat, continuous belly rubs in conjunction with unlimited dog treats, and stealing the Thanksgiving turkey from the dining room table.

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