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Protecting Your Pet’s Paws this Summer

Ways to Protect the Paws this Summer

With the summer fun comes the summer heat, and with the heat comes hot pavement! Asphalt, black tops, sidewalks, pool patios, and even turf can quickly become hotter than the outside air temperature making it dangerous for your pup’s paws.

To help avoid painful burns, damage to their paw pads, and ouchies that may require veterinary care, it’s best to be proactive when it comes to the heat. Avoid taking your dog out during the hotter times of the day and instead choose to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening after the pavement has had time to cool off. Another option might be to take them to a place without pavement like a grassy park where dogs are allowed.

When hot pavement or turf can’t be avoided, it’s a good idea to use dog booties! For summer, it’s best to have protective but breathable booties for your dog. There are even booties with reflective material on them to help provide visibility at nighttime. Make sure to shop around to find the best fit for your dog’s paws, their lifestyle, and your wallet. When buying booties, typically the manufacturer provides information that should tell you how to properly measure to find the best size for your pet’s paws.

Other things to consider when shopping around:

Make sure they are made for summer wear; you wouldn’t want to order dog sledding boots for summer! Look at the reviews and make sure they stay on dogs’ paws well; you don’t want to lose a bootie during an adventure. Lastly, make sure they fit your pup’s active lifestyle, as there are all different boots for different activities. For example, if they are using them around a pool, you may need ones that are water-appropriate material. If they are going to be hiking in them, they make trail dog boots for even more protection.

Introducing them to the boots:

It’s important to take a slow approach when introducing booties to your dog for the first time. Start by rewarding them for acknowledging the booties. You want them to see the boots as something positive and fun! Once your dog sees the boots as being something positive because they get a treat when the boots come out, try placing one of the boots on one of your dog’s paws. If your dog will not let you place a boot on their paw, try just touching their paw with the boot and rewarding them as a starting point – don’t strap them up just yet! One at a time, work to where you can successfully place a boot on each paw. Then, once you’ve had success doing that, place one bootie on and strap it up… don’t forget to reward your pup! Do this one paw at a time until you have successfully put on all the boots, give them a treat, and only leave them on for a few seconds before taking them off. Repeat this step, gradually increasing the amount of time they are on. Once they are comfortable with them on, encourage their first steps…they may walk a little funny at first!

Make sure to praise and reward your pup a lot while they figure out how to walk in their new shoes! After they have had time to adjust to the boots by having play sessions in the house with them on, you can begin to take them on walks wearing the boots. Don’t forget to bring treats and praise during your walk. Having your dog wear the booties for fun like on a trip to the pet store or to the park helps them associate positive experiences with the boots. Remember that making it a positive and fun experience for your pup will go a long way!

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately

Social Petworking Month: Networking for Animals

How to Use Social Media to Find a Good Home for a Dog or Cat

As social media has become such a prevalent part of our lives, it’s allowed us to stay connected to friends, family, and acquaintances. It has also evolved into a useful tool to serve more purposes. June is Social Petworking Month — the perfect opportunity for individuals to use their social channels to help others — specifically, homeless dogs and cats looking for a good, loving forever home.

During Social Petworking Month, individuals are encouraged to use their social media to promote photos and information on furry friends in shelters that are seeking adoption. Doing this helps to bring awareness to all the different dogs and cats that are ready for a family and hoping that they’ll find their perfect match. 

How Can You Participate?

Participating in Social Petworking Month is easy and quick to do. All you have to do is look through your local shelter’s website to find dogs and cats that are looking for a new home. Take their photo and a short description of the pet to share on your social media, whether that’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat. The more you share, the more you boost the chances of someone seeing your post and being interested in adopting them!

On top of this, you can share interesting facts about the furry friend to really personalize their social post and increase interest in their adoption. People love to hear about what makes them unique or fun quirks they have, which can include anything from having a special talent or trick to loving tummy scratches. 

You can also use your social media to become an advocate for adopting in general, including sharing the benefits of adopting pets from shelters and rescues to encourage others to do the same.

Pet Sharing Apps

Another aspect of networking for dogs and cats that can be beneficial to look into during this time is pet sharing apps. These apps and sites connect communities of pet lovers who can provide a safe and loving temporary home for the dog or cat when the owner needs help with care. 

These virtual communities can often offer a cost-effective solution to normal pet daycares, walkers, and sitters. For those who take care of the dog or cat, it offers a perfect opportunity for them to experience being a pet parent without having to fully commit. This can be a great stepping-stone for those looking to adopt in the future so they can understand the time commitment, responsibility, and work that goes into taking care of a pet. 

During Social Petworking Month, take a look at how you can give back and promote dogs and cats looking for forever homes. By simply promoting animals up for adoption on social media, becoming an advocate for adopting, or getting involved with pet sharing apps, you can make a significant difference for pets in shelters in need of loving families. 

[DISLCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. 

Ways to Celebrate Your Pet All Year Round

Party Animals – How to Get Creative with Celebrating Your Pet

As a pet parent, it’s our responsibility to shower our beloved companions with love and appreciation every day. However, there may be some special occasions where we want to go above and beyond our regular duties to show them just how much we care. These occasions can include birthdays, adoption days, and holidays. So, how do you make these days extra special for your special friend? Luckily, with a little planning and creativity, there are plenty of unique ways to celebrate a significant occasion for your pet that they will be sure to love.

Give Them a Gift

Nothing says “I love you” like a brand new gift! Surprise your friend with a new toy, treat, or food to show your appreciation. The change in their routine or environment will be extra exciting for them, and they will love you for it. If you have a dog, try giving them a new kind of chew toy that will stand the test of time. Recognize how your pup likes to play and find a toy that suits them best. If they prefer to play tug of war, look for a toy that you can use together. If your furry friend prefers to play fetch, search for a toy that you can throw a greater distance to let them run. For cats, you can never go wrong with toys that test their natural instincts, such as wand toys that have an enticing dangling piece.

When in doubt, take your pet to your local pet store and let them pick out their own toy. Your companion will love the mini-trip and will be sure to love whatever they pick out.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts can be a great way to bond with your pet. Whether it’s making them a homemade gift or creating something together, taking time out of your day to spend time together is a great way to celebrate your pet and make their day special. For some DIY pet presents, try your hand at creating a homemade bowtie for their collar, a new tug-of-war toy for your pup, or a new wand toy for your cat. Making these gifts yourself will make them that much more special for you and your pet.

If you’re in an artsy mood, purchase some non-toxic washable paints, paintbrushes, and a canvas. Using your pet as your muse, paint a portrait of your furry friend on the canvas. To top it off, put some of the paint on a plate, dip your pet’s paw in it, and have them stamp their paws on the portrait. Not feeling up to the task of trying to paint your pet’s portrait? Just dip their paws in different colored paints, then press their feet on different parts of the canvas for a rainbow of pawprints. Whichever way you go, you’ll be sure to create some pawsome masterpieces.

Host a Mini Pet Party

Feeling like a party animal? Then celebrate your pet by throwing them a party! Create a VIP (Very Important Pet) guest list filled with their best friends. To go all-out, decorate your home with streamers, balloons, and pictures of your pet. Make sure to have plenty of enticing toys out so your furry friend and their pals can have a blast. To top it off, document the occasion with a pet photoshoot — party hats are encouraged!

Whether it’s a special occasion or you just want to show some extra love, there are always plenty of ways to celebrate your furry companion. Don’t be afraid to get creative and above all — have fun!

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Best Beginner Reptiles and Amphibians

Best Beginner Reptiles and Amphibians

Exotic animals like reptiles and amphibians can make great beginning pets for kids or adults. They’re also an option for those with allergies to fur or pet dander. Herps  (from the Greek word for creeping thing) may not exactly be cuddly or affectionate creatures, but if you’re a parent whose kids are going through a dinosaur, insect, or crawly creature fascination phase, you will understand the attraction. Parents will also appreciate that reptiles and amphibians can be lower maintenance in some instances.

Before you consider bringing any exotic reptile or amphibian into your home, understand that many of these creatures can live for years and will require varying degrees of specialized care, owner experience, and investment. Many ‘herps’ don’t like being handled – or don’t do well being handled – so there is a risk for bites and scratches. Why? Unlike dogs and cats, reptiles and amphibians are not domesticated animals. Generally speaking, some species that are heavily bred in captivity – like corn snakes – may be milder in temperament than their wild counterparts, but don’t count on it. Choose wisely.

The best beginner reptiles and amphibians include corn snakes, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, tortoises, and frogs. Smaller carnivorous lizards and amphibians need a varied diet that includes insects dusted with supplements, such as calcium and other vitamins. Larger carnivorous reptiles like monitor lizards and snakes will need to eat rodents whether they’re live, freshly killed, or thawed from frozen. Others may need to be fed live crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, or worms, so if you’re not up for the task, choose a different type of pet.

Are There Affectionate Reptiles?

Some reptiles and amphibians like being gently stroked, scratched, or being offered food, but beyond that, most herps just aren’t programmed for hands-on affection. Many species can learn to recognize and bond with their human caretakers, but they’re not the norm, and they are not showing emotion in the truest sense of the word. In fact, reptiles do not show emotion beyond fear, aggression and occasionally, pleasure. In this form, they are not emotions, but basic instincts. 

Can You Train Reptiles?

Just like people, some reptiles are smarter than others. Reptiles can be trained in the sense that they can learn to associate cause and effect and will react accordingly. For instance, some species can learn to recognize their owner by scent, so they will eventually be more relaxed when something familiar approaches their habitat as opposed to the reaction to a predator scent. While some types of reptiles may be able to be trained to feed from your hand, others would just as soon take a bite out of you. While you can certainly try to train your pet further, don’t expect too much. 

Have more questions about reptiles and amphibians? Check out our blog post.

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month: Dog and Cat Seasonal Allergies

Dog and Cat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Experiencing asthma and allergy symptoms can quickly put a damper on a perfectly good summer day. Most people know the signs of allergies in humans. However, recognizing symptoms in your cat or dog may be harder to distinguish, especially since they can’t voice their discomfort. May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — the perfect time to brush up on dog and cat seasonal allergy symptoms, so you can quickly identify potential problems. Knowing the signs can help you make sure your furry friend receives the treatment they need to get on the right path to feeling their best!

What is an Allergy?

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to foreign substances. Just like their human counterparts, our furry friends can experience unpleasant allergy symptoms. Allergy season for dogs and cats is typically in the spring and summer months. These seasonal allergies arise because plants are blooming during this time of the year, which causes the pollen count to be high. Common allergens for dogs and cats include fleas, pollen, plants, house dust mites, and ragweed. Ragweed is one of the most common allergens in the U.S. and can be one of the leading causes of your cat’s or dog’s allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of Allergies in Your Dog or Cat

The symptoms of your furry friend’s allergies may vary on a case-by-case basis. However, some of the main signs of allergies for both cats and dogs include:

  • Itchiness
  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Constant licking
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry flakey skin
  • Hair loss
  • Bumps/rashes
  • Chronic ear infections

What is Asthma?

Asthma is an allergic disease that occurs due to an allergic reaction in the airways, which then causes inflammation. This inflammation causes the passageways to constrict, making it very difficult to breathe.

Asthma Symptoms in Your Dog or Cat

An asthma attack can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs of an asthma attack in its early stages. Symptoms of an asthma attack for both cats and dogs include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Gagging up foamy mucus
  • Panting with a wide mouth
  • Blue lips and gums

Treatment

Treatment for both allergies and asthma will depend on the severity of the condition. For allergies, lifestyle changes may be necessary to remove that specific allergen from your furry friend’s life. In addition, your veterinarian may also prescribe a medication to help control the symptoms.

In treating mild or ongoing asthma attacks, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication that can be taken either orally, or through regularly scheduled injections with your veterinarian, or through nebulization. Lifestyle changes may also be necessary to help ease your dog’s or cat’s asthma symptoms. These can include washing their bedding regularly, using dust-free litter, and wiping off your pup’s feet after being outside.

Our beloved pets are unable to tell us what is bothering them. We are in peak time for seasonal allergies, so keep a close eye on your furry friends that may be experiencing allergies or asthma-related symptoms. It’s our job as pet parents to help recognize the signs of allergies and asthma, and get our furry friends the help and medical attention that they need to feel better!

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.