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How to Celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month

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People often associate September with the start of school, football season, and Fall — it’s also Responsible Dog Ownership Month. So while you’re planning your seasonal fun, consider these seven ways to celebrate your dog and practice your own Rresponsible dog ownership.

1. Exercise

Like people, dogs require exercise. While it’s easy to fall back on the traditional walk around the block, responsible dog ownership requires dog owners to discover the kind of exercise their dog loves. While some dogs live for their daily walk, others may prefer a faster pace, in which case a run or strenuous hike with elevation changes might be more appropriate. For other dogs, play is key. A rigorous game of fetch or tug-of-war might prove the best exercise for a playful dog who craves attention and stimulation, along with physical activity. Some dogs even like to swim or run agility courses.

To celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership this month, expose your dog to lots of different types of physical activity and notice which one seems to result in the most energy, joy, and exhaustion. Once you’ve discovered what kind of exercise or dog sport appeals most to your dog, you can celebrate responsible dog ownership all year round by committing to doing the activity on a regular basis.

2. Health and Wellness

Another important responsibility is scheduling and attending regular veterinary check-ups for your dog, seeking appropriate dental care, and providing proper nutrition. A dog’s medical needs vary with age, so it’s important to discuss with your veterinarian what your dog needs at any particular stage of life. Most dogs require annual vaccinations, but some veterinarians recommend holding off on certain vaccinations after a dog reaches a particular age.

Your veterinarian can also advise you on any necessary dental care for your dog, such as regular cleaning.

Regarding your dog’s nutrition, you may need to consider several factors, including age, weight, activity level, allergies, etc. Your vet can help you ascertain the proper amount of food for your dog, as well as any special dietary needs your dog may have. Some vets may recommend grain-free diets or special food for dogs prone to gastrointestinal issues.

Celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month by setting up an appointment with your vet for a regular exam, as well as a discussion of your dog’s vaccinations, dental health, and diet.

3. Training

There are many fun ways to bond with your dog, from enjoying a morning walk to snuggling on the couch. Training is an excellent way not only to make your dog safer, better behaved, and more social, but also to strengthen the bond you share. From Canine Good Citizen to puppy socialization and dog sports, there is sure to be a class or event that you and your dog will enjoy.

Once you’re aware of all of the opportunities available, identify what your dog needs and work from there. If you’re not sure what training would be best for your dog, the AKC GoodDog! Helpline is a good starting place.

4. Travel

It’s important to make sure there’s a plan in place for your dog if you need to travel without them. As with training, many options exist, including professional dog sitters who make daily visits to your dog, dog walkers who make sure your dog continues to exercise while you’re away, and boarding kennels where your dog can stay while you travel. Celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month by making sure your travel provisions are optimal for your dog’s safety, well-being, and comfort, as well as for your own peace of mind.

5. Socialization

Socializing your dog is important at any stage of a dog’s life, from puppy to senior, and can prove a fun and fulfilling way to celebrate responsible dog ownership. Younger dogs and puppies can benefit greatly from early exposure to situations and circumstances that they are likely to encounter in their everyday life, while older dogs may need help coping with the arrival of new pets or children in the home.

Basic socialization can include regular, positive exposure to other dogs of various sizes and ages, exposure to different types of people, visits to dog parks, meet-and-greets on a leash, etc.

A socialized dog may enjoy a safer and more fulfilling existence, since their ability to remain well-mannered in a variety of circumstances can reduce the likelihood of undesirable or dangerous behaviors.

Safety

The familiar “safety first” instruction is no less relevant in the context of dog ownership. A concrete way to engage in responsible dog ownership is to ensure that your dog thrives in the most secure environment possible. yard features adequate fencing and, if your dog spends a lot of time outside, provide clean, fresh, accessible drinking water, as well as shelter from the elements, at all times.

Before heading out for a walk, make sure your dog’s collar, harness, and leash are in good condition. Are all straps sturdy and unfrayed? Are all clips in working order? You may also want to make sure your dog’s equipment fits appropriately. Pups can easily slip out of a collar that is too loose, while a collar that is too tight can be uncomfortable and even restrict a dog’s breathing.

Despite these efforts, dogs may sometimes still find ways to get loose. To increase your dog’s probability of returning home safely in the event of an escape, microchip your dog, enroll in AKC Reunite, and outfit your pup with tags displaying their name and your contact information.

7. Emergency Preparedness

From the recent wildfires in the west to the approach of hurricane season in the east, being prepared to take care of your dog in an emergency is an important part of dog ownership. Emergency preparations for your dog can include outfitting windows in your home with stickers notifying emergency personnel that a dog is inside, setting aside food, water, and medications for use in an emergency, and preparing a canine first-aid kit and “go-bag” for your dog. In advance of an evacuation, identify dog-friendly hotels and create an evacuation plan that includes your dog. To get started, fill out the AKC Reunite Emergency Plan.

photo source: Pixabay
source: American Kennel Club

Tips For Bath Time Fun with Your Pets

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Whether it be a cat or dog you wish to bathe, the most important thing to remember (especially with those frisky felines) is to start ‘em young. Yep, we mean as babies.

But even if they are babies, you can’t just toss them straight into the bathwater (as apposed to throwing the baby out with the bathwater). You need a strategy, or a plan, or something to help you get those fluffy bundles of joy ready for a lifetime of enjoying a splash in the tub.

5. Playtime

Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub. Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you’re teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place.

Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too (though only the ones made of plastic). Pets especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath!

4. Water Temperature

Puppies and kitties are very sensitive to hot and cold. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, so their sweet, sensitive, baby skin won’t burn. Also, hot water can be a shock to an animal that has never had the luxury of a bath. Remember, this is their first time in the water!

3. Water Wings

We’re not saying you need those floaty devices that are so popular in teaching the young to swim. But for a young animal who’s never really been put into a pool of water, porcelain against paws can end up in a horrible sliding, scrabbling, scared event that no one wants.

A non-slip mat to perch your pet on is the perfect alternative to them sliding into the great white abyss of your tub. Your pet will have something to cling to and bathing won’t be traumatic — or seem like a bad rehearsal of Ice Capades.

2. Bubble, Bubble

Fortunately, no toil and trouble this time. But we will the best way to make bath time fun is getting your pet high-quality shampoos, conditioners, and spritzers, which are hopefully made in exotic locales using exquisite ingredients.

Of course, such luxe doesn’t have to cost a paw and a tail. In fact, some of the best are available at very reasonable prices. So find a brand (or brands) your pet likes.

1. Treat Time!

During, before, and especially after … treats are a definite essential to any bath time. But make sure they’re healthy (sorry, no bacon). We love handmade, organic, healthy, delicious treats. Think Dean & Delucca. Think Harrods. Think luxe but with an affordable price tag.

And if you want more karmic bang for your hard-earned bucks, buy from small purveyors over large conglomerates. They’ll also have your pet’s health and welfare in mind. Small people often have the biggest hearts.

photo source: Pixabay
source: Pet MD

Tips For Bath Time Fun with Your Pets

Blog

Whether it be a cat or dog you wish to bathe, the most important thing to remember (especially with those frisky felines) is to start ‘em young. Yep, we mean as babies.

But even if they are babies, you can’t just toss them straight into the bathwater (as apposed to throwing the baby out with the bathwater). You need a strategy, or a plan, or something to help you get those fluffy bundles of joy ready for a lifetime of enjoying a splash in the tub.

5. Playtime

Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub. Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you’re teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place.

Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too (though only the ones made of plastic). Pets especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath!

4. Water Temperature

Puppies and kitties are very sensitive to hot and cold. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, so their sweet, sensitive, baby skin won’t burn. Also, hot water can be a shock to an animal that has never had the luxury of a bath. Remember, this is their first time in the water!

3. Water Wings

We’re not saying you need those floaty devices that are so popular in teaching the young to swim. But for a young animal who’s never really been put into a pool of water, porcelain against paws can end up in a horrible sliding, scrabbling, scared event that no one wants.

A non-slip mat to perch your pet on is the perfect alternative to them sliding into the great white abyss of your tub. Your pet will have something to cling to and bathing won’t be traumatic — or seem like a bad rehearsal of Ice Capades.

2. Bubble, Bubble

Fortunately, no toil and trouble this time. But we will the best way to make bath time fun is getting your pet high-quality shampoos, conditioners, and spritzers, which are hopefully made in exotic locales using exquisite ingredients.

Of course, such luxe doesn’t have to cost a paw and a tail. In fact, some of the best are available at very reasonable prices. So find a brand (or brands) your pet likes.

1. Treat Time!

During, before, and especially after … treats are a definite essential to any bath time. But make sure they’re healthy (sorry, no bacon). We love handmade, organic, healthy, delicious treats. Think Dean & Delucca. Think Harrods. Think luxe but with an affordable price tag.

And if you want more karmic bang for your hard-earned bucks, buy from small purveyors over large conglomerates. They’ll also have your pet’s health and welfare in mind. Small people often have the biggest hearts.

photo source: Pixabay
source: Pet MD

Flea and Tick Preventive Products: Consider Your Options

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They’re creepy, they’re crawly…and they can carry diseases. Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, but pose animal and human health risks.

They suck your pet’s blood, they suck human blood, and can transmit diseases. Some of the diseases that fleas and ticks can transmit from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) include plague, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, bartonellosis and others. That’s why it’s critical to protect your pets from these pesky parasites and keep the creepy crawlies out of your home.

Fortunately, there are many effective flea and tick preventives on the market to help control the pests and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Knowing what kind of product to use, and how to use it, is critical to the health and safety of your pet. Many are spot-on (topical) products that are applied directly to your pet’s skin, but there are some that are given orally (by mouth). Although medicines and pesticides must meet U.S. government-required safety standards before they can be sold, it is still critical that pet owners carefully consider their flea and tick preventive options (and closely read the label) before they treat their pets with one of these products.

Ask your veterinarian

Consult your veterinarian about your options and what’s best for your pet. Some questions you can ask include:

• What parasites does this product protect against?
• How often should I use/apply the product?
• How long will it take for the product to work?
• If I see a flea or tick, does that mean it’s not working?
• What should I do if my pet has a reaction to the product?
• Is there a need for more than one product?
• How would I apply or use multiple products on my pet?

Parasite protection is not “one-size-fits-all.” Certain factors affect the type and dose of the product that can be used, including the age, species, breed, life style and health status of your pet, as well as any medications your pet is receiving. Caution is advised when considering flea/tick treatment of very young and very old pets. Use a flea comb on puppies and kittens that are too young for flea/tick products. Some products should not be used on very old pets. Some breeds are sensitive to certain ingredients that can make them extremely ill. Flea and tick preventives and some medications can interfere with each other, resulting in unwanted side effects, toxicities, or even ineffective doses; it’s important that your veterinarian is aware of all of your pet’s medications when considering the optimal flea and tick preventive for your pet.

How to protect your pets

To keep your pets safe, we recommend the following:

• Discuss the use of preventive products, including over-the-counter products, with your veterinarian to determine the safest and most effective choice for each pet.
• Always talk to your veterinarian before applying any spot-on products, especially if your dog or cat is very young, old, pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
• Only purchase EPA-registered pesticides or FDA-approved medicines.
• Read the entire label before you use/apply the product.
• Always follow label directions! Apply or give the product as and when directed. Never apply more or less than the recommended dose.
• Cats are not small dogs. Products labeled for use only for dogs should only be used for dogs, and never for cats. Never.
• Make sure that the weight range listed on the label is correct for your pet because weight matters. Giving a smaller dog a dose designed for a larger dog could harm the pet.

One pet may react differently to a product than another pet. When using these products, monitor your pet for any signs of an adverse reaction, including anxiousness, excessive itching or scratching, skin redness or swelling, vomiting, or any abnormal behavior. If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian. And most importantly, report these incidents to your veterinarian and the manufacturer of the product so adverse event reports can be filed.

Be aware that certain flea and tick preventives are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while others are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can seem confusing at first to figure out which agency regulates the product you’re using, but it’s actually pretty straightforward: if the product is regulated by the EPA, there’s an EPA number clearly listed on the package. If it’s regulated by the FDA, there should be a NADA or ANADA number clearly listed on the package. Check the label for either an EPA or an FDA approval statement and number. If you see neither, check with your veterinarian before purchasing and especially before using the product.

• To report problems with EPA-approved pesticides, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378.
• To report problems with FDA-approved drugs go to How to Report An Adverse Drug Experience or call 1-888-FDA-VETS. Additional reporting information is available on the FDA’s Report a Problem.

photo source: Pexels

source: AVMA

Beware: Algae Can Poison Your Dog

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Dog owners have reported this summer that their pets became fatally ill after swimming in freshwater lakes and ponds, apparently after ingesting water laden with toxic blue-green algae.

Intense blooms have led to swimming bans from lakes in the Pacific Northwest to the entire Mississippi seacoast, to Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake. Algal blooms tend to thrive in high temperatures and after heavy rains carry fertilizer runoff and sewage into waterways.

The health threats to animals range from skin rashes to neurological problems. The blooms can release toxins that can cause liver damage, lead to respiratory paralysis or produce other fatal conditions. The danger drew national attention in recent days after a woman in North Carolina lost her three dogs — Harpo, Abby and Izzy — after they had gone swimming in a pond.

Cyanobacteria, the main organisms that produce the toxins that make the freshwater blooms harmful, can cause ailments in people, but dogs are more susceptible because they ingest them, said GreenWater Laboratories, which tests water samples for the toxins.

Sometimes the algae look like grains of floating green sand or scum. They can go undetected by dog owners if they lurk under the water’s surface or attach to plants. Wind can blow algae from one area into another that had previously looked clear.

While the sight and odor of algae repels humans, animals sometimes lap up the water, ingest floating pieces of algae or snap at floating algal balloons. They could fall fatally ill after licking their wet fur. Toxic algae can also dry up into crusts onshore, where dogs might nibble on them.

Brittany Stanton took her 2-year-old golden retriever, Oliver, on Aug. 3 to Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Tex., where he jumped off their kayak into the water.

In a Facebook post, Ms. Stanton said he collapsed after getting out of the water and died at the veterinarian’s office. “It only took one hour from the time we left the water for Oliver to breathe his last breath,” she wrote.

The next day, the city of Austin advised pet owners to keep their animals out of the lake because of the potential presence of harmful algae. On Friday, it said the advisory remained in effect after tests confirmed a neurotoxin from algae had been found in one area called Red Bud Isle.

Morgan and Patrick Fleming of Marietta, Ga., took their Border collie, Arya, to Lake Allatoona, about 35 minutes north of Atlanta, on Saturday, a local television station reported on Monday. The animal became ill and died from what a veterinarian said was “most likely” an algal toxin, it reported.

“It happens every single year in the U.S. and around the world,” Val Beasley, a professor of veterinary, wildlife and ecological toxicology sciences at Pennsylvania State University, said on Monday.

“A lot of times, the neurotoxins will kill the animal before they can get to the veterinarian,” he said. “This time of year is when you have the most numbers of cases and people are out and about with their animals and the conditions are ripe for the cyanobacteria to grow.”

He said that there were no nationwide figures of dog deaths from the poisoning.

Melissa Martin, the owner of the three dogs in North Carolina, said Harpo jumped into a pond in Wilmington, N.C., on Thursday. “He just splashed around in it a little bit,” she said. A few times, he put his face under the water as it he were “bobbing for apples.”

When he got to shore, he apparently got Abby and Izzy, who had stayed out but were muddy, wet with the pond water, she said. When they went home, Ms. Martin started to give Harpo a bath when she heard her wife shriek from the yard.

Abby was having a seizure.

“Her back legs were trembling. Her body was in the shape of a C,” she said. “Burning to the touch.”

Ms. Martin raced Abby to an animal emergency hospital. Their veterinarian was not available to comment on Monday, but Ms. Martin said she was asked whether their other dogs had been around water.

When she said they had been, she was told, “Get your other dogs here right now.” All three animals had been infected she said the vet told her.

“I told him he was such a good boy and he had done so much,” Ms. Martin said, describing her last moments with Harpo, a therapy dog, just before he and the other two dogs died. “He put his paw on my arm.”

photo source: Pexels

source: NY Times