So you’re getting a new pet, or maybe you’ve already brought one home, but you have no idea what to name the little guy (or girl!).  If that’s the case, there are plenty of great ways to pick that perfect name: from watching your pet in the early stages and seeing what activities he or she gets up to, to looking at his or her physical characteristics, to simply choosing a traditional name, there really is no wrong way to find the name that suits your pet.

Here are a few tips on finding that perfect name:

Traditional Names

Many people like to name their dog or cat a traditional pet name, like Rover, Whiskers, Fluffy, or Max. They don’t care for trendy names, and would prefer to stick to convention.  If that’s you, maybe Spot or Buddy might be for you.

Physical Characteristics

Or, if you prefer to name your pet based on his or her physical characteristics, it’s an easy way to go, and one that lots of people choose.  You can go with a name based upon his or her color like Snowball or Midnight; or name him for his size and call him Hercules or even Tiny.  ‘Spot’ could fall into this category, too!

Activities and Personality

When you first bring your pet home, look at what activities he likes to do. What is her personality? Does she get into trouble a lot? Call her trouble! Is she sweet? Maybe ‘Sweetie’ or ‘Honey’?  Or is he always getting into trouble but then giving you puppy dog eyes and wiggling right out? Call him Wiggles!

Favorite Things

Finally, you may simply consider naming your new pet after your favorite thing: a favorite character in a book or television show; maybe after your favorite snack (Hershey is he’s a chocolate Lab?). Whatever matters to you is always a great name, after all, your pet is going to matter a great deal to you.

Remember, when it comes to naming your pet:

  • You don’t have to do it right away. It’s a name you’ll both have to get used to, and it’s a name he’ll have for years to come.
  • It should not be more than two syllables, as a pet will have trouble remembering it.
  • Choose a name that can’t be confused with other commands you will be teaching your dog or cat (like off, down, sit, etc).

Stress and Your Animal

July 29, 2015

Stress is a killer and it affects our pets too. Animal care becomes part of our lives when we take on a pet. When an animal is stressed, adrenaline is released into their systems and their heart rate and respiration rates pick up. This is the same thing that happens to humans, and it makes you want to go seek out the comfort food. Our pets look for the same comforts that help us. Unfortunately they aren’t as able to help themselves as we are, so we need to lend them a helping hand.

Signs of Stress in a Pet

  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Isolation or hiding
  • Increased sleeping
  • Aggression
  • Excessive grooming (cats)
  • Missing the litter box (cats)

Animal care is our responsibility, and even moving a piece of furniture, installing new carpets or introducing a new pet into the family can cause your little furry friend to experience stress.

Ways to Help Relieve Stress in a Pet

  • Play and with your pet.
  • Create a quiet place with a favorite blanket and toy.
  • Use a good quality food.

Quiet time and a little tender loving care will go a long way to helping your pet relax, so you both can be happy and enjoy your precious time together. Our companions need comfort too at times, and who better to give it to them than those love them best.

How To Care For Cows

July 27, 2015

Cows can be hard to care for and depending on their purpose will determine how much work will be involved. If you have cows that have plenty of land to graze on they will be less susceptible to diseases and will get exercise along with plenty of food. For those who are being farmed and kept in dry lots need more care as there are more potential and higher risks of diseases and illnesses to occur. There are steps to follow to make sure that you are providing the best animal care possible for your cows.

Provide plenty of food for the cows. Depending on the conditions the cows are living in will also determine how they will get their food. In snowy areas they will need to be kept inside where there is dry food and grazing will not be possible. While kept in a dry lot provide hay and silage along with feed and grass as additional food.

Keep water available at all times and make sure that it is kept clean. It’s important for your livestock to have loose minerals available as well including salt added to the water or cows really like a salt block that they can lick on as their food can be rather dry.

Maintain fresh bedding for the cows and remove any feces that has occurred throughout the day. This will help prevent diseases from spreading and provide a healthy surrounding for your animals.

Additional animal care necessities for your cows is:

  • Keep up with vaccines
  • De-worm and De-lice as needed
  • Create a breeding program for dairy cows as they need to breed for developing milk
  • Milk cows two times daily or every 12 hours
  • Make sure that fences and machinery are maintained otherwise your cows can wonder outside your land and roam in unwanted territory.

By following all of these steps in caring for your cows you will display healthy treatment and proper animal care.

To Vaccinate Or Not

July 24, 2015

To Vaccinate Or Not

You love your dogs and cats like your children, and for some parents, your pets are your children. With this in mind, your pets’ health is a number one priority. You want the best for them. So, why are vaccinations–something meant to protect your loved ones–under such scrutiny, of late? Are vaccines really necessary? Some studies claim they have proved them harmful, while the mainstream opinion is that they are prudent. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Why Vaccinate Your Pets?

According to the ASPCA, vaccinating your dog or cat is an important part of the animal health routine. Vaccines against the ravages of rabies, canine distemper, and canine parvovirus are highly recommended–all of these infections are easily spread, and can be fatal. Cats, too, are at risk of similar infections–like feline panleukopenia (resembling parvo)–and preventative vaccinations are the first and best line of defense.

What About Side Effects?

Common, and recognized, side effects usually amount to little more than soreness around the injection sights. But, occasionally, pets may have more adverse reactions; a less common side effect is the development of mediated disease following a vaccination. By the numbers, this is rare.

On the other paw, not all vets and advocates of animal welfare agree about animal health, or that a stringent regiment of anti-bodies and vaccinations is necessary, and contend that it can do more harm than good. In fact, independent studies claim that epidemiological studies–which are indicators for, but not proof of, a vaccine’s safety or effectiveness–are misleading, and that many vaccines are outdated and even dangerous. Some studies claim that vaccinations even cause cancer, especially at the injection sights.

What To Do?

Animal health is a major priority, however, and you want the best for your pets. According to the ASPCA, because of the risks and vaccine controversy, more attention is now being given concerning things like timeliness and necessity of certain vaccinations. Since the final decisions are your own, taking a country vet’s view on the matter may be the best option–you may want to ask, “Should I fix it if it isn’t broken,” and, “what is best for my pet, specifically?” The needs of pets differ, and what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. Talk to your vet, ask questions, and use a little common sense when it comes to the health of your pets.

The world of dog products is vast and all-encompassing. If there is a problem, there is an animal care product to fix it. One product quickly gaining traction for it’s multi-beneficial use is dog toe grips.

How do they work?

Dogs use their nails for traction they flex their paws and dig in their nails like cleats on natural ground. But on surfaces such as marble, linoleum, or hardwood floors, their hard nails can’t get a grip or traction. Toe grips are non-slip grips that fit right into a dog’s individual toe nails and here by friction. This eliminates the slipping problem that can be frustrating for all dogs- but almost paralyzing for senior dogs or those with certain injuries. Because the grips it onto the nails only- most dogs don’t even realize they are on, unlike socks or boots which fit over a whole paw and a dog can chew or push off.

Toe grips come in multiple sizes, so you are required to measure your dog’s nails to ensure a proper fit. Toe grips can migrate up the nail, so be sure to check regularly to ensure they are in the proper place.

What are the benefits?

Dog toe grips improve mobility and stability, increase canine confidence, and reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries. They are especially useful for senior dogs who do not have the ability to compensate on slippery hardwood floors they way they did when they were young to avoid sliding, or to those dogs who have difficulty going from laying to standing. They have also proven and effective way to restore confidence and mobility in dogs with the following problems:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Neurologic issues
  • ACL/Cruciate injuries
  • Blindness
  • Hind end weakness
  • Tripawds

The best part is- you no longer have to cover your house in carpet or throw rugs to allow your dog full access to your home. A set of dog toe grips will typically run you about $30- and are available both online and in pet stores. A set can last up to three months before needing replacement.

Dog toe grips are an affordable and easy animal care to give your dog his confidence and mobility back!

Police in Twinsburg, Ohio have taken a proactive approach when it comes to animal care.

After a police dog from another Ohio community suffered a heat-related death last year while being left in a police cruiser, the department has upgraded its own vehicle heat-sensor devices to make sure that the tragedy won’t happen again.

The device, called Hot-N-Pop Pro and manufactured by Ace K9, includes a variety of components which will monitor the interior temperature of the vehicle and activate hard-to-miss warning devices.

Among Hot-N-Pop Pro’s many features are:

* An ‘Auto On/Manual Off’ feature in which the device automatically activates when the vehicle ignition is turned on and can only be turned off manually. It stays on when you exit the vehicle and continues to monitor the interior environment.

* An  ‘S.O.S Horn Honk’ feature which activates when your K-9’s environment becomes dangerous, setting off a unique horn sound in the process. The device automatically turns on the sirens and lights, as well.

* A ‘No K-9 Left Behind’ feature which continues to monitor the interior environment until the dog is actually removed from the vehicle.

* A ‘Dual Window Drop Module’ in which your cruiser’s windows will automatically open – and the air conditioning turned on – when the car becomes too hot.

The old system used by Twinsburg police only activated the horn when the car became dangerously hot. And the department decided to take an additional step in its animal care by installing a fan in an inside window specifically for its K-9 officer.

According to an article on www.wksu.org, there are about 20,000 active police dogs in the U.S. There have been about 30 heat-related deaths since 2012, the article notes.

Twinsburg police have never suffered the loss of a K-9 officer to heat-related causes. With the Hot-N-Pop Pro, they intend to keep it that way.

Weight Control In Pets

July 17, 2015

Approximately 54 percent of cats and dogs in America are obese. Animal obesity tends to be a major problem for pet owners as it is important to watch what your pet eats just as you monitor what you eat on a daily basis. There are several ways that you can control the weight in your pet by simply making sure they get enough activity throughout the day and monitoring what they eat.

First determine if your dog or cat is overweight. This can be done by looking at them and noticing that they have a sagging stomach, no waistline, and/or a broad flat back. See if you can grab a handful of fat. This will help you recognize there must be something done immediately to help your pet lose weight. Obesity can shorten your pet’s life and excess fat will impair its health and quality of life.

Indoor cats of 10 to 15 pounds should not eat more than 200 to 220 calories a day and dogs at 10 to 15 pounds shouldn’t eat more than 275 calories a day. Check the food you’re giving them and determine if it’s right for them. The more organic and healthier the food is the more chances your pet will live longer without gaining much weight. Knowing how many calories your pet takes in a day is vital to preventing animal obesity.

The following steps will help decrease their chances of gaining weight.

  • Neutered/spayed pets tend to gain weight easier. Be prepared to monitor what your cat or dog eats regularly to avoid obesity.
  • Decrease food intake and increase activity level. Take dogs on longer walks and provide cats with more toys and things to climb on including cat trees.
  • Feed twice a day in smaller amounts than usual. Avoid any table food. Give fewer treats and offer them in the middle of the day so that they can burn it off before dinner.

Try playing with your pet. Dogs can go for a run in the park while cats can have an activity time in the morning or evening for chasing rope, lasers, or balls.

Pets like to spend time with their owners and if you’re active they will want to be active with you. It’s more than just petting or feeding time to your pets, it’s sharing moments with you that help them bond with you and live longer lives.

For criminals tempted to kick a narcotics dog alerting at their backpack or to hit a horse during demonstrations, with the passage of the Federal Law Enforcement Act, the U.S. government has a message: if you injure or abuse a federal law enforcement animal you will go to jail.

The Humane Society and The United States Police Canine Association believe this new law will offer increased animal welfare and protection for law enforcement animals while also deterring  criminals from targeting canines, by recognizing them as living beings and valued partners rather than as a piece of police equipment or property such as a computer or car.

Drug Bust Targets

Prior to the law going into effect the Police Canine Association had been alerted that narcotics dogs had bounties placed on them by narcotics dealers. This law puts dealers on notice that they will be prosecuted fully for any injuries or deaths to law enforcement animals during the commission of a crime.

Animal welfare legislation like this act is necessary because law enforcement animals need greater protection under federal law due to the variety of dangerous situations they are placed in, and because their bond with their human partners. They are sent in first to survey and dangerous crime scene that involves bombs, drugs or any high risk situation.

Changes in the Law

Prior to the new law, anyone who harmed a police canine could only be charged with a Class A demeanor. The new law increases the penalty for injuring, abusing or killing any law enforcement or emergency service animals to a Class D felony. It also expands the prosecutable crimes to include injuring or killing the animal when they can be identified as a law enforcement animal in a police vehicle, an emergency vehicle or when enclosed within a designated area.

Under the act, anyone who is convicted of purposely injuring, maiming, assaulting or killing a federal law enforcement animal such a police dog or horse can be fined a minimum of  $1,000 and receive up to 10 years in prison. Before the act went into effect, these animals fell under a variety of state laws rather than federal laws.

Any animal who works for a federal law enforcement agency is protected under the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act, including animals working the National Park Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and those who protect the U.S. Capitol.

Heartworms can affect the health of dogs, cats, horses and other animals. Transmitted primarily by the bite of mosquito, these parasites attack the animal’s vital organs – including the heart and lungs – and place your pet in serious danger.

Heartworm disease has now spread to all 50 states, including desert areas where it once was never found. And all it takes is one bite of a mosquito with the heartworm larvae to infect your animal. Moreover, these parasites multiply within the pet’s body, and can live 5 to 7 years.

A key component of animal care when it comes to heartworms is recognizing the disease’s symptoms. Knowing the signs can be a crucial first step in providing your pet with the proper, timely treatment.

There are a variety of signs that your pet (dogs are the most common animal infected with the disease) may have heartworm. Some are clearer than others:

* Coughing
As the worms begin to intrude upon the heart and lungs, your pet can develop a mild to severe cough that can be very noticeable.

* Fatigue
Another sign is that your pet may become winded and worn out, and engage in less physical activity than normal. A normally energetic, playful dog may choose to lie down instead of participating in common activities such as fetch.

* Other Signs
A lack of appetite is another sign that your pet may have heartworms, as is weight loss. There may also be signs of fever, or jaundice.

Abdominal sounds may be present in severe cases of the disease, and your pet may even pass out or collapse from lack of blood to the brain. Heartworms are usually fatal if left untreated.

It should be noted that, for owners who have multiple pets, that the disease cannot be transmitted from pet to pet. Only the animal that has been bitten by an infected mosquito will carry the disease. Your pet can share water, food and toys with other pets without exposing them to heartworms.

The good news is that sound animal care includes the prevention and treatment of the disease. There are a wide variety of heartworm preventive medicine available and can be administered via pills, injections or topical ointments.

The treatment of heartworms can be a lengthy process – often up to six weeks – but if caught soon enough, the disease can be treated successfully.

Heartworms can affect the health of dogs, cats, horses and other animals. Transmitted primarily by the bite of mosquito, these parasites attack the animal’s vital organs – including the heart and lungs – and place your pet in serious danger.

Heartworm disease has now spread to all 50 states, including desert areas where it once was never found. And all it takes is one bite of a mosquito with the heartworm larvae to infect your animal. Moreover, these parasites multiply within the pet’s body, and can live 5 to 7 years.

A key component of animal care when it comes to heartworms is recognizing the disease’s symptoms. Knowing the signs can be a crucial first step in providing your pet with the proper, timely treatment.

There are a variety of signs that your pet (dogs are the most common animal infected with the disease) may have heartworm. Some are clearer than others:

* Coughing
As the worms begin to intrude upon the heart and lungs, your pet can develop a mild to severe cough that can be very noticeable.

* Fatigue
Another sign is that your pet may become winded and worn out, and engage in less physical activity than normal. A normally energetic, playful dog may choose to lie down instead of participating in common activities such as fetch.

 * Other Signs
A lack of appetite is another sign that your pet may have heartworms, as is weight loss. There may also be signs of fever, or jaundice.

Abdominal sounds may be present in severe cases of the disease, and your pet may even pass out or collapse from lack of blood to the brain. Heartworms are usually fatal if left untreated.

It should be noted that, for owners who have multiple pets, that the disease cannot be transmitted from pet to pet. Only the animal that has been bitten by an infected mosquito will carry the disease. Your pet can share water, food and toys with other pets without exposing them to heartworms.

The good news is that sound animal care includes the prevention and treatment of the disease. There are a wide variety of heartworm preventive medicine available and can be administered via pills, injections or topical ointments.

The treatment of heartworms can be a lengthy process – often up to six weeks – but if caught soon enough, the disease can be treated successfully.