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.

Many dogs and their owners enjoy nothing more than a summer walk together. But as an owner, sound animal care includes taking precaution when the walking route may include hot asphalt or pavement.

A dog’s paws can be burnt and damaged on scorching asphalt that may be hot enough to fry an egg. And it’s especially true for puppies with tender young paws.

That said, there are plenty of precautions you can take to keep your dog happy, active and injury-free.

* Walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when the pavement – and temperatures – are cooler. The sun is hottest in the afternoon or early evening, as is the pavement. Conversely, it’s not a bad idea to walk your dog on asphalt or pavement during cooler times of the day to help toughen their paws. It could help prevent burns later on.

* Practicing good animal care includes moisturizing your dog’s paws, not only before the walk, but daily. It will prevent injuries such as cuts or cracking. There are moisturizing pad creams made just for this purpose.

* Paw wax, like moisturizing cream, is designed to protect your dogs paws not only from hot surfaces, but also chemicals such as road salt.

* If your dog will wear them, dog shoes are good way to protect paws. Not all dogs will use them or have an easy time walking with them, but rubber-soled shoes provide plenty of protection.

Dogs socks are another alternative although, again, they may not be for your dog. You can even use your own old socks, or baby socks.

* Stick to the grass and shady areas during the hotter parts of the day. A park with plenty of shade can be a wonderful place to take your dog when the heat is high.

* Most of all, use the same kind of common sense you use for any kind of animal care. Remember: If the pavement feels too hot for your feet, it’s also too hot for your dog’s. Moreover, the air temperature does not accurately reflect the heat of the asphalt, which retains the sun’s heat at a much greater rate.

Tick Prevention

June 10, 2015

After the long and harsh winter that hit many parts of the country last year, it’s highly likely your dogs are already feeling bored are restless. Playing outdoors under the spring sun is a good way for them to release some pent-up energy.

But before you let your dogs out the door, you need to protect them from tick infestation with these practical animal health tips:

  • Check your dogs for ticks whenever they come in from the outside. It takes hard work, but it’s worth the effort because it means preventing a tick infection before it even starts.
  • Remove all ticks you find. Ticks multiply fast, so the sooner you get rid of them, the lower the chances of an infection from happening. Use tweezers with a fine end for easy captures.
  • Bring your dogs to the vet for a regular checkup. The trained eye of a professional may be able to catch ticks that you didn’t know were lurking there.
  • Chat with your vet about the dangers of ticks and the preventive measures you can take. These doctors are experts in their field, so it’s best to listen when they’ve got something to say about your dogs.
  • Ask specifically about Lyme vaccine and whether or not your dogs need it. If Lyme disease is prevalent in your area, your dogs may be at a higher risk of contracting it if they’re not adequately protected.
  • Use anti-tick products like sprays and other forms of repellants when your dogs are scheduled to go outside. These products add a layer of protection against ticks.
  • Wash your dogs with tick shampoo. A thorough bath gets rid of whatever ticks that are still hanging in there after manual inspections.
  • Put a tick collar around your dogs’ necks. These accessories are both fashionable and functional; they come in many colors and designs, and they can also protect animals from ticks for weeks or months.
  • Improve tick-prone areas in your home. Ticks flourish in moist and dark areas, so if you have such spaces in your home, make them as tick-unfrlendly as you can.

No one else suffers as much as your dogs when they get tick infection, so in the case of animal health, the old adage still rings true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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.


Your pets are curious critters, nosing around – and sometimes eating – substances that could make them very sick or kill them. Animals needing to be housed in animal shelters aren’t immune, either.

Use Locking Cabinets

The best pet poison prevention tips prevent accidental poisonings from happening at all. Store household chemicals and poisons away in a cabinet that’s locked or too high for your pets to get into. Secure such items as bleach, cleaning items, tile cleaners and liquid drain openers in these cabinets. In short, think of your pet as a curious child.

Secure Trash Cans

Your cats and dogs have acute senses of smell. The chicken bones you tossed into the trash are highly tempting to them and after you’ve gone to bed, they’ll do everything they can to get to them. Store your kitchen trash can in a secure cabinet or toss the trash in the outdoor trash bin every night. If you cannot do this, convert a large cat litter container – those that hold 30 pounds or more – into a kitchen trash can. The snap lid is impossible for your cats or dogs to open.

No Foods or Medications for Humans

More pet poison prevention tips: Medications intended for humans, such as aspirin, can make your pets very ill.  Only give your pets medications prescribed by your vet.

Chocolates, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, coffee, alcoholic beverages, avocados, milk, nicotine and rich, fatty foods can make your pets ill, or they can kill them.

Beware of Deicers and Antifreeze

When you take your pets outdoors during winter months, the deicers used to melt ice can poison them when they lick their paws. Wash their paws off when you bring them indoors. Clean up every antifreeze spill – even tiny amounts can kill your dog or cat.

Restrict Use of Poisons

One of the most important pet poison prevention tips – keep rat poisons and pesticides away from your cats and dogs. These can kill your dogs and cats. Pesticides and fertilizers are potentially deadly for animals. Keep the dogs and cats inside when you use them and try to restrict where they roam while the chemicals are doing their work on weeds and those insect pests. Again, your animals are curious and will nose into “interesting” smells and odors, potentially making themselves very sick. These chemicals can kill your pets.