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  • 8 Spring Dog Safety Tips

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    Spring is upon us and it’s time for you and your pup to enjoy the warmer weather. But there are some important things to remember to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. These 8 safety tips ensure that Spring doesn’t put a damper on your fun!

    1. Save the Sticks
    Sticks — now readily available after the winter thaw — can cause choking and severe injuries in dog’s mouths and throats. So if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, tennis ball or other toy instead.

    2. Keep Fido Away from New Plants
    Many dogs like to eat grass, but if your dog likes to chew on other plants, now’s the time to get out your plant guide. Some native plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea or even death, so before you let your pooch chomp down on those leafy greens, check out this guide to toxic and non-toxic plants.

    3. Use Pet-Friendly Products for Spring Cleaning
    Spring cleaning is the perfect occasion to review your cleaning product’s pet-friendliness. If the bottles do not say their contents are dog-safe, it’s best to keep these products where your dog can’t get them. If your dog does ingest a household cleaner, the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association recommends you, “do not call a human poison control center; they do not have any information on pets. Instead, contact your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline (888-426-4435) for accurate information.”

    4. Watch Your Dog for Signs of Seasonal Allergies
    Some dogs develop allergies to common seasonal plants, like ragweed. But, unlike people, these allergies usually present as skin problems in dogs, according to Dr. Stephanie Janeczko D.V.M. in How Do I Know if My Dog Has Allergies?

    “Because dogs with atopy [inhaled allergies] are frequently allergic to pollens and grasses, they often have a seasonality to their symptoms but can show signs all year long if they are allergic to something that is always in the environment (such as dust mites),” says Dr. Janeczko.

    5. Hide the Antifreeze
    Cars use antifreeze year-round, so you always need to stay vigilant to keep your pup safe. Many dogs like the taste of antifreeze because it’s sweet, but it’s also deadly. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog’s been exposed.

    6. Start Flea and Tick Prevention Early
    The American Heartworm Association now recommends keeping dogs on year-round flea and tick preventatives to guard against heartworm disease. If your dog is not already on a preventative regimen, now is the time to start.

    7. Prevent Dog-Park Bullying By Knowing the Signs
    As the weather gets warmer, you may be bringing your dog to the dog park more often. Make sure it’s a safe and fun time for all by knowing the symptoms of bullying and how to deal with them.

    8. Keep Artificial Sweeteners Away from Your Dog
    Springtime and Easter go hand in hand and that means plenty of chocolate and other dangerous dog treats. Keep your pup safe as you celebrate spring by keeping all sweets, candies and gum away from your dog. While many people know about the dangers of chocolate, only a small amount of the common artificial sweetener xylitol can be deadly.

    *Source Courtesy of Petfinder

  • 5 Easy Ways to Save on Vet Costs

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    Being a responsible doggy parent takes a great deal of commitment – and often times a great deal of expense. Not only does your furry best friend require your time and attention, he or she also needs regular veterinary care. Caring for a dog isn’t just about putting out food and providing shelter – it’s usually a 10 to 20 year commitment that includes vaccinations, medications, and other expenses, especially as your pup reaches her senior years.

    Fortunately, there are simple preventative measures you can take that help cut your costly vet expenses, without sacrificing your dog’s well-being. In fact, by following these tips, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll help your dog live a healthier and happier life! You see, preventative care is the best way to keep your dog healthy as she ages.

    1. Spay or Neuter Your Dog
    Besides preventing unwanted litters of puppies, spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in female dogs and keeps them from going into heat. Neutering prevents testicular cancer in male dogs and curbs their desire to escape and roam away from home. Altered pets tend to be much better behaved animals, too.

    So how does spaying or neutering save money on vet bills? Well the cost of this surgery is far less than the cost of raising litters of puppies and the cost of treating medical conditions like infections, cancers, or even injuries that may arise from unaltered dogs who escape their yards. Save even more money by searching for low-cost spay/neuter clinics in your area!

    2. Stay Current on Vaccines and Other Preventatives
    If you stay on top of vaccines and parasite prevention, you’re much less likely to incur vet expenses down the road from illnesses that are easily preventable!

    You shouldn’t wait for your dog to become infested with parasites. Instead, use flea and tick preventatives and, if you’re in an area of the country where mosquitos are a concern, use heartworm preventative, too. Call the animal control organization in your area or your veterinarian to inquire about low-cost vaccination options.

    3. Practice Good Hygiene
    Believe it or not, grooming and cleanliness can prevent infection. Start trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis when he’s a puppy. Get a great pair of nail trimmers and get him used to having his paws handled at a young age so that the process is easy for both of you. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly or use dental cleaning water or food additives to keep your pup from developing plaque and gum disease. Use an ear cleaner or ear wipes to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry.

    4. Provide and Excellent Diet and Adequate Exercise
    Keep your dog at her ideal weight. More than half the dogs in the United States are either overweight or obese! Excess weight in your dog can lead to such health problems as Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, joint disorders, kidney disease, some forms of cancer, and decreased life expectancy. All of these issues can lead to costly vet bills. The best thing to do is keep your furkid at a healthy weight, and the best way to do that is through a healthy diet and daily mental and physical stimulation.

    5. Dog-Proof Your House
    Protect your pup from potential household hazards by taking certain precautions that could prevent costly emergency trips to the veterinarian. Store your medications in tightly closed containers. Keep chemicals like household cleaners out of her reach, make sure your dog doesn’t have access to chew on your electrical cords, and be sure you don’t have toxic plants in your home.

    Remember, preventing an accident, illness, or disease is always more cost effective than treating one!

    *Source Courtesy of The Dogington Post

  • Taking Care of Your New Christmas Pet

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    Congratulations! The holidays are over and you came away with a new furry best friend! Like a child, your pet will depend on you for everything;  nourishment, medical attention, exercise, and safety. You’ll want to make sure you give them attention and the best care possible.

    PET DEPOT’s New Pet Care Sheets provide information on many areas of pet care, from crate training to dietary needs and help relieve some of the responsibility of caring for a new pet. The New Pet Care Sheets provide a lot of essential information. You’ll also discover helpful information on topics that pertain to your pet’s health, grooming, and the importance of their environment on their physical and mental health.

    With love, commitment and proper care, your pet will grow up safe and healthy and will enrich every aspect of your life. May you enjoy every moment that you share with your new furry best friend!

    Click here to find the right care sheet for your pet.

  • Five Things to Consider When Givings Pets as Gifts

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    It’s crunch time for holiday shoppers and finding that perfect gift that makes a friend or family member stand up and jump for joy remains very much on the minds of many this week.

    Giving the gift of a new furry, feathered, or scaled family member is a frequent choice for a real WOW-factor holiday present. That said, if a new pet is on your mind this holiday season, here are five things to consider.

    1. Check with the recipient – Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check with parents that they are willing to help a child care for an animal, for instance, and ensure they are able to financially take on the responsibility.

    2. Double check allergies – Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.

    3. Confirm pets are allowed – Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a cat or dog, make sure they don’t live in a building or development that doesn’t allow pets.

    4. Is the pet a good match? – You want to make sure you know the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.

    5. Adopt – When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life. Adopting from a reputable animal shelter also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

    *Courtesy of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

  • Holiday Season Tips for Pet Owners

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    The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

    Here are some tips to ensure your holiday season is a safe one:

    1. Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

    2. Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

    3. Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

    4. That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

    5. Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

    6. House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

    7. Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

    8. A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

    9. New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

    *Courtesy of www.aspca.org