This month we are going to take a peek into the Persian Cat. These fur babies are known for their sweet nature towards their family, and their reserved personality toward strangers. They love being doted on by gentle children or sitting in the lap of a family member. Persian cats are very mellow, and prefer to live in a home where things are quiet and little changes in the daily routine. They are not overly energetic animals, but enjoy a little exercise or playtime from time to time.
This beautiful medium-sized breed has been around for a long time and is believed to have originated in Mesopotamia (modern day Iran.) They were the first long-haired cat to come to Europe in the 17th century. Breeders molded the Persian to what we know as the Persian today, by cross breeding multiple types of long-haired breeds. Today we know this breed to come in many colors, have round heads, chubby cheeks, small ears, big eyes, and of course long hair.
Persians are healthy cats, but do run into health problems occasionally most often times related to their facial structure. These problems include difficulty breathing, heat sensitivity, dental issues, excessive tearing, kidney disease, and ringworm. This does not mean that every Persian faces these issues, but they can be common among this breed. In regards to caring for them, it is important that they are groomed every day – brushing and detangling. Bathing once a month is sufficient. The litter box must remain extremely clean because of the long-hair. If it is not clean, Persians are likely to just stop using it. This breed is an indoor only cat and would not do well in the dirt and leaves, or having to fend for themselves against dogs or other cats.
As always, keep an eye out for rescues that are currently caring for this breed. If you choose to go through a breeder, be sure to choose a caring, reputable one. Stay tuned for next month’s featured cat breed!
The holidays are upon us and with them come the hustle and bustle of visitors, lots of tempting treats and potential overindulgences, but did you know that there are also many hazards for your pets?
STRESS: Holiday stress doesn’t just affect humans – your pets may also feel stressed out by the increased activity and visitors. Make sure they have access to a quiet spot where they can go hide out (you may want to reserve a spot there, too).
THE NO-NO LIST: Alcohol, leeks, onions, sage and other herbs, gravy, turkey skin, cooked bones, grapes, raisins and currants are all very bad for animals. Rich baked goods and chocolates (especially those made with artificial sweeteners like xylitol) are also hazards. Keep these stored in tins whenever possible or covered if they’re kept out on display.
YES IN SMALL AMOUNTS: We ALWAYS recommend an appropriate diet for your pet, as advised by your veterinarian. However, we know that temptation (and unattended plates) happen during the holiday season! So, here are some general notes: Mashed pumpkin is a wonderful, nutritious treat but make sure it’s real pumpkin and not pie filling. Yams are also excellent. Green beans – say yes to fresh, but leave the casserole for humans. Mashed potatoes are fine to share, but make sure they’re plain, with no butter or gravy. Small servings of turkey are fine, but opt for white meat over dark and no skin or bones please. Again, we recommend NO ‘people food’; and always check with your veterinarian about proper diet for your individual furry friend!
Keep these numbers handy and Happy holidays!
Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-4435
We are so excited about this month’s featured dog breed! These little pup’s interesting lamb-like looks had us falling in love at first sight. The Bedlington Terrier typically has a very entertaining way about them which makes them perfect for showing in the ring and loving in your home, but their origins still make an appearance from time to time. Bedlington Terriers were originally hunting dogs that were used to help poachers with small outdoor animals. However, like mentioned before, they are now a great choice in family dog – great as a watchdog and fun to be around.
This breed has a moderate energy level by nature and needs to be exercised frequently. They love to go on walks, hikes, play fetch, and then relax with their people afterwards. Speaking of family, Bedlington’s can do well with small children and other dogs, but it is best if they all grow up together rather than introducing a new dog later. They are terriers by nature and will fight if provoked, but with small children they will do their best to tolerate the rough-housing. They will be stubborn when training, so it is best to use positive reinforcement rather than harsh punishment.
Males and females of this breed are about the same size, standing 15-16 inches in height and weighing 17-23 pounds. Bedlington Terriers are healthy in general, but some common health problems have been detected in this breed, such as hip dysplacia, elbow dysplacia, copper toxicosis, paterllar luxation, retinal dysplacia, and renal cortical hypoplasia. If you are going to be welcoming one of these breeds into your home, be sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can show health documentation from the parents.
Caring for this breed is quite easy, but you must have some time to spend with them. They enjoy activity, so a fenced yard would be great for them. However, they are not accustomed to living outdoors and need to be able to come inside after playtime is over. They would do okay in an apartment setting, but you would need to ensure there is an area they can run and exercise close by. There are not any special diets that need to be taken into consideration – dry food twice a day will be just fine for this breed. Grooming procedures are standard, as well – brush your pup once a week, trim nails once or twice a month, and brush their teeth a few times a week.
So, as we mentioned earlier, the Bedlington Terrier can be a wonderful breed to welcome into your family. Consider making this breed your only dog, or welcoming it the same time you are welcoming another so that they can grow up together. Often times, people do not realize the attention that is needed by this breed, so it is suggested that you check rescues before going to a breeder. Stay tuned for next month’s featured breed!
November is Manatee Awareness Month and we thought it would be fun to learn a little about this beautiful animal. No, we don’t treat them at any of the AZPV hospitals, but I’m sure a few of the doctors wouldn’t mind a vacation to check them out!
Manatees are often called Sea Cows, but are actually a relative of the elephant. They are typically found alone, in pairs, or in small groups and because they are marine mammals they live only in water, coming to the surface to breathe. There are three different species of manatees distinguishable based on where they live. One specie live in the waters along the Florida coast down to Brazil, another specie calls the Amazon River home, while the last specie inhabits the west coast and rivers of Africa.
These sea creatures are gentle creatures who move slowly and rest often. They can be found rolling and twirling in their playful state, but are mostly busy resting and grazing. Manatees are herbivores and feast regularly on sea grass, algae, and other water plants. A mother only births one calf at a time after a gestation period of one year. Calves are birthed underwater and also nurse under water, until they are able to transition to the herbivore diet.
Manatees are considered endangered now after being put at risk by hunters wanting their hide, oil, and bones. While they are now protected, they are still risk being caught up in fishing nets and hit by motorboats in shallow waters. Thankfully, the number of intentional deaths have decreased over the years, though.
We are grateful for this awareness week and the opportunity to learn more about these graceful creatures!
Source: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/manatee/; http://www.defenders.org/florida-manatee/basic-facts
As we enter this week, we celebrate animal shelters and rescues everywhere. These organizations are giving animals the chance to live and the opportunity to find their forever family. The people that make these organizations successful have a passion for animals and a heart for turning these animals’ lives around.
Some things you might consider doing in honor of this awareness week are:
Donate supplies: You can call your local shelters for more specific needs, but typically, they are always accepting blankets, water and food bowls, toys, grooming supplies, and pet beds.
Donate money: It is expensive to support these animals, so monetary donations are always appreciated.
Donate time: These organizations are always looking for volunteers to help out with the daily tasks of caring for all these animals.
Raise Awareness: Social media is huge in our society these days, consider committing a few posts and/or shares to helping some of the animals get adopted. Let’s get real for a minute…a number of shelters are “no kill” shelters, but the reality is not all of these shelters and rescues are and some animals don’t get adopted. Some breeds and senior pets have a harder time getting welcomed into a home and it is crucial that these issues are brought to the forefront. This will inform people of their options when they decide it is the right time to welcome another furry member into their family.
So when deciding how you will give back to your community, with either money or time, keep in mind your local shelters and rescues!