Preventing ticks and fleas in your pets will also keep you and your family safe and healthy. When you promote animal health by preventing your furry friend from catching these blood-sucking bugs, you avoid catching the critters yourself and contracting the diseases they carry. While Fido and Fluffy are at less risk of picking up nuisance pests such as tapeworm and avoid the itchy misery of flea bites or even the Flea Bite Anemia caused by large infestations, it is not just animal health at risk from the bites. Flea prevention also guards you and your family from human illnesses. Pet pests usually carried by dogs and cats like fleas cause human diseases like tick paralysis, ehrlichia, Lyme Disease, anaplasmosis, as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Luckily there are plenty of solutions on the market, ranging from oral doses to wearable flea-preventing collars and spot-on topical solutions. All of these solutions for flea prevention in your pet take into consideration different life cycles of the flea and target the adult, larvae and egg stages. This is why it is important to maintain the doses of flea prevention. For the very young or the very old cat or dog, a flea comb can be used to check their fur regularly. While in today’s hectic world giving flea prevention medication seems like one more chore to do by taking care of your animal, you are also looking after the health of your human companions.

Winters aren’t just tough on humans they’re also hard for pets. True, they don’t have to shovel snow but unless they’re pulling sleds in Alaska, their activity is mostly limited to indoors. So take advantage of the many summer animal activities available in your area before those cold months return.

WATER. There are different forms everywhere; oceans, lakes, rivers, swimming pools. If your dog loves the water, this can be a great break from the heat. Make sure to take safety precautions when allowing your pet into the water:

  • Be aware of currents in oceans and rivers.
  • Life jackets are made for dogs too, and available in all sizes.
  • Use canine ear-drying solution to avoid ear infections.
  • Make sure the water is clean. If you wouldn’t go in, don’t allow your pet to.

CANINE AGILITY COURSES are popping up all over. You don’t have to be in training for a competition to enjoy the fun these courses have to offer. Dogs of all shapes and sizes will find something fun to do. Most courses are equipped with obstacles like tunnels, ladders and jumps. You can even build a DIY course in your own backyard.

PARKS are a haven for our four legged friends. Just make sure to check each park’s leash rules before releasing your dog. Some parks offer specific off-leash hours. If you’re camping out for the day, don’t forget to bring your pet’s favorite toy, a blanket, water, food and maybe even a small collapsible tent for shade.

NIGHT TIME ACTIVITIES are great during heat waves. Wait until the sun goes down then bring your pet along for your run, not only good for him but healthier for you.  Take your dog to a lit tennis court and toss her the ball or better yet, let her play “doggie in the middle” as you and a mate hit the ball back and forth.

OPEN THE WINDOWS in the house. Cats love to look outside, even if they’re too “scaredy“, or not allowed to go out there. When windows are closed they only get half the show. By opening the windows they get the smells and sound effects too.

No matter what animal activities you choose for you and your pet make sure you protect them from common summer dangers like fleas & ticks, heartworm, dehydration and heatstroke.

Have a safe, happy & fun summer!

Horses are powerful animals, but they are also delicate. Proper grooming is necessary for their health. Being left dirty or sweaty can cause skin problems and chills. Failing to clean the feet properly can lead to serious issues, as horses have four extra “hearts” (frogs) in their feet. Problems with their feet mean problems with their circulatory systems. Horses should have their feet picked and be thoroughly brushed before and after riding.

While proper grooming is vital, it isn’t difficult. All you need is patience and the right tools:

  • a hoof pick
  • a curry comb
  • a hard brush
  • a soft brush
  • a mane comb

To pick your horse’s hoof, stand next to it while facing the same direction as his rear. Gently squeeze his Achilles tendon to make him pick up his foot. When he does, catch it and hold it in one hand, bracing it on your knee if necessary. Using the hoof pick, scrape out any dirt, rocks or other debris you find in the hoof. Don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease, but be aware of the “heart”or frog– the tough, V-shaped pad in the middle of the hoof. This contains an important network of blood vessels. A clean hoof looks like a shallow bowl with an elongated heart in it.

Next, it’s time for brushing.

Use a curry comb first, brushing all of the horse’s surface area in small circles. As with every step, it’s important to use that elbow grease. If you are too delicate, you won’t get the dirt out.

Once you have thoroughly curry-combed the horse, use the hard brush. The hard brush should be used with short downward-moving strokes. The idea is to brush the dirt you’ve loosened with the curry comb onto the floor. Then, with the soft brush, go over the horse to make his hair smooth and shiny.

The cleanliness test is to run a white-gloved hand (or a scrap of white fabric) along the animal’s back and sides. If he’s really clean, you won’t see any dirt. If you do, go back and repeat from the curry comb step. Once he is clean, you can gently comb his mane, starting from the bottom so as not to pull on knots.

Remember to thoroughly groom your horse before and after riding. A well-groomed horse is a healthy one, and a healthy horse is a happy one.

One of the biggest challenges facing non-profit organizations is keeping volunteers happy and coming back for their assignments. Volunteers often do unpleasant jobs, and not getting compensated for their time makes things even more difficult for them. This article will give you some how to’s for keeping your volunteers happy and coming back.

  • Make Volunteers Feel Appreciated: The most important thing you can do to keep your volunteers is to continually let them know that they’re valued respected. Volunteers who feel like their work is going unnoticed are not likely to keep volunteering for your organization.
  • Be Specific About What You Expect From Your Volunteers: Volunteers appreciate clear expectations: when they’ll be expected for their shifts; how long their shifts will last; and most importantly, clear how to’s for their job duties.
  • Find Out What Volunteers Want To Bring To Your Organization: Matching workers’ job assignments to their skills is as important in volunteering as it is in paid employment. Ask your volunteers what they like to do – for example, a volunteer who enjoys photography and who volunteers in an animal shelter would enjoy being put to work photographing animals for the shelter’s website.A volunteer who loves the outdoors would be better suited to doing grounds keeping or “outside” work than being stuck inside an office filing papers.

Keeping volunteers happy is an ongoing process, and not done in a single day. This list of how to’s should serve as a starting point, but always remember that keeping your volunteers coming back requires your best efforts every day.