Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension resulting from a situation, person, or object presenting an external threat -- whether real or perceived. The response of the autonomic nervous system prepares the body for the freeze, fight, or flight syndrome. It is considered to be a normal behavior, essential for adaptation and survival; its context determines whether the fear response is normal, or abnormal and inappropriate. Most abnormal reactions are learned and can be unlearned with gradual exposure.
Moreover, the persistent and excessive fear of a specific stimulus is referred to as a phobia. is a persistent and excessive fear of a specific stimulus, such as a thunderstorm. It has been suggested that once a phobic event has been experienced, any event associated with it, or the memory of it, is sufficient enough to generate a response. The most common phobias are associated with noises (such as thunderstorms or fireworks).
Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear; most common visible behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or passage of bowel movements), destruction, and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying). Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.
Profound fear and withdrawal of unknown cause (so called idiopathic fear and withdrawal) has also been noted in certain dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, German Short-haired Pointer, Greyhound, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle, among others. There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence.
Most fears, phobias, and anxieties develop at the onset of social maturity, from 12 to 36 months of age. A profound form of fear and withdrawal of unknown cause occurs at 8 to 10 months of age. Old-age-onset separation anxiety of unknown cause may be a variant of a decline in thinking, learning, and memory in elderly dogs.
Symptoms and Types of Anxiety in Dogs
Causes of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs
Diagnosis of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs
Your veterinarian will first want to rule out other conditions that might be causing the behavior, such as brain or thyroid disease. The behavior could also be originating from a response to a toxic substance, such as lead. Blood tests will rule out or confirm such a possibility.
If your veterinarian diagnoses a simple fear, anxiety, or phobia, a prescribed medication may be all that is needed. But your doctor will most likely make recommendations based on your individual dog, the fear trigger, and types of behavioral techniques that can be used to alleviate your dog's fears and anxieties.What Can I Give My Dog for Anxiety?
There are medications that can be given to dogs to help with their anxiety, but drugs are not for every pet and are typically implemented only as a last resort in severe instances. There are many natural treatments such as Chamomile and CBD/HEMP. Talk to your vet to see what the best option would be for your pet.
How to Calm an Anxious Dog
If your dog has extreme panic and separation anxiety and needs to be protected until medications can become effective, which can take from days to weeks, hospitalization may be the best choice. Otherwise, you will care for your dog at home, and will need to provide protection from self inflicted physical injury until the dog calms down. You may need to arrange for day care or dog-sitting.
Affected dogs will respond to some extent to a combination of behavior modification and treatment with anti-anxiety medication. If there is a condition that causes itchiness and/or pain, it must be controlled. Your dog may need to live in a protected environment with as few social stressors as possible. These animals do not do well in dog shows.
Behavior modification will be up to you. You will need to teach your dog to relax in a variety of environmental settings. Avoid reassuring the dog when it is in the midst of experiencing fear or panic; the dog may interpret this as a reward for its behavior. Encourage calmness, but do not reinforce the fear reaction. Remember that not all dogs are calmer when crated; some dogs panic when caged and will injure themselves if forced to be confined. Absolutely avoid punishment for behavior related to fear, phobia, or anxiety.
Desensitization and counter-conditioning are most effective if the fear, phobia, or anxiety is treated early. The goal is to decrease the reaction to a specific stimulus (such as being left alone in the dark). Desensitization is the repeated, controlled exposure to the stimulus that usually causes a fearful or anxious response in such a way that the dog does not respond with the undesirable response. With repeated efforts, the goal is to decrease the dog's undesirable response. Counter-conditioning is training the dog to perform a positive behavior in place of the negative behavior (in this case, fear or anxiety).
For example, teach your dog to sit and stay, and when your dog performs appropriately you can reward it appropriately. Then, when your dog is in a situation where it might show the undesirable response, have it sit and stay. The signs involved in an oncoming anxiety attack are subtle; learn to recognize the physical signs associated with the fears, phobias, and anxieties and head the behavior off before it has a chance to take over your dog's behavior.
Living and Management for Fear and Anxiety in Dogs
As long as your dog is on medications, your veterinarian will want to follow-up by conducting occasional blood testing to make sure your dog's blood chemicals stay in balance. If behavior modification does not work over the long term, your veterinarian may want to modify the approach. If left untreated, these disorders are likely to progress.
Most forms of treatment will be done over the long term, possibly years. It generally depends on the duration and intensity of symptoms, as well as the amount of symptoms the dog displays. Minimum treatment averages four to six months.
Prevention of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs
Expose dogs to a variety of social situations and environments when they are young puppies (up to the time they are 14 weeks of age) to decrease the likelihood of fearful behavior. Puppies and dogs that are deprived of social and environmental exposure until 14 weeks of age may become habitually fearful, which can be avoided with only a little exposure during this formative time.
Edited By Jasmine Ward: General Manager of Bark & Purr
Animals suffer from pain like we do, however, they cannot express it verbally as we do. Pain comes in many forms from surgical pain to arthritis and cancer pain. Pain can either be acute or chronic.
So what is Chronic vs Acute Pain?
Acute Pain: Usually this type of pain comes on suddenly and is caused by something specific. This type of pain should not last more than 6 months and goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain. Some examples of causes of acute pain include Surgery, Broken Bones, Dental Work, Burn, Cuts and Bites. Acute pain fades once the underlying condition is treated. Pets and their parents can resume life as usual.
Chronic Pain : This type of pain is ongoing and often last a lifetime. Meaning, that this pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Such as, Arthritis, Cancer and Nerve Pain.
Now that you know the differences between acute and chronic pain, lets discuss some of the common signs of pain.
Common Signs of Pain in Canines:
Common Signs of Pain in Felines:
You are the first line of detection for pain in your pets. Any abnormal and inexplicable changes in behavior can be a sign of pain. Ultimately, if you suspect your pet is in pain, making an appointment with a vet is the next step. Your vet can find the underlying issue causing the discomfort. Sometimes injuries can be apparent such as a wound or broken bone, however, the cause will not always be so obvious.
You're probably wondering what your vet will prescribe you to manage your dogs pain. The treatment or treatments will depend strongly on what the underlying cause is. The most common medications your vet might recommend for you are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). PetMD suggests these medications can help reduce pain, swelling, stiffness, and any joint discomfort the pet may be feeling. Some of these drugs created specifically for animals include carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, and meloxicam. WARNING: HUMAN NSAIDs MAY BE TOXIC TO YOUR DOG, ALWAYS CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE ADMINISTERING ANY HUMAN MEDICATIONS TO YOUR PET.
Managing Long Term Pain and Prevention of Pain
Although pain medicines work as a temporary fix, the ultimate goal is pain relief and prevention. A change in food may work towards this goal, because food and other products that are high in omega-3s can helop alleviate joint inflammation.
Depending on the condition, certain supplements may also be recommend. For example, dogs with arthiritis can be given turmeric, glucosamine and chondrotin to help relieve bane and strengthen joints.
Weight management is a great preventative measure and eliminating measure for pain. Extra pounds can cause painful issues like pancreatitis, hip dysplasia, and it can make chronic conditions like arthritis worse. Feeding your pet the proper portion sizes based on their activity levels and keeping them on an exercise regime will keep your pets weight under control.
Other options such as physical therapy and acupuncture may also help relieve pain and discomfort when dealing with recovery from injury or with arthritis.
Overall, You know your pet the best. If you feel like something is wrong with them, trust your instinct and remember signs of pain can be subtle.
March is finally coming to an end and we're ready to dive right into spring. We've got a few tips and tricks to make your spring safe and fun.
Winter Is Coming? Are your pets Prepared?
As the leaves fall and the temperature drop, we prepare ourselves for the coming cold days of winter. When it comes to the cold, we put away our summer wardrobes and pull out our boots, coats, hats, and scarves to keep our bodies warm. Dogs have a core body temperature of between 101-102 degrees F. Despite this warm body temperature, our furry babies still need protection from the cold.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself for winter with your dog:
1) Avoid Thin Ice: Here in Yonkers and all around New York, we have lots of lakes and ponds that are at the parks we frequent for outside play with our pups. However, as the temperature drops, these ponds begin to freeze over and the ice is not always visible and that thin ice can break and the freezing water will lead to hypothermia. Also, slipping and sliding on the ice is fun, it can lead muscle sprains and other injuries.
2) Protect their paws: We offer a wide variety of different booties and paw covers for dogs feet in store and online. This is because snow and ice can cause serious damage to your dogs nerves and paw pads. Snow can get stuck in between the paws and stick to the paws causing abrasions and pain to your pup. Unprotected paws should not be in the snow for more than 10 minutes or you'll be spending much time and money at the vet.
3) Clean their paws: During the winter snow isn't the only hazard to your pets paws. There's also the Rock Salt that is spread on sidewalks and streets to make them safe for us humans to walk and drive on. Rock salt is made out of Sodium Chloride and Calcium Chloride. While these chemicals are harmless on the ground, when the salt gets stuck to your dogs paws it can reek havoc internally and externally. Externally, the salt can scratch up the paw pads making it painful for your dog to take even one step. If ingested, rock salt will cause diarrhea, dehydration, and if too much is ingested it will can be fatally poisonous to your pet. To avoid these disastrous outcomes, simply rinse your dogs paws off with warm water or wipe them dog with a wet wipe. Be sure to closely inspect their feet to make sure there are no salt particles or snow/ice hiding in between the toes and paw pads.
4) Limit their time outside: As we mentioned before, dogs have a core temperature of about 102 degrees F. However, did you know that dogs can still suffer from conditions such as Frostbite? Ear Flaps, Tail tips, and paws are the most vulnerable to frostbite. In freezing temperatures it is recommended that dogs only be taken outside for no more than 5 minutes, and only if absolutely necessary; with the exception of heavy-coated northern breeds that thrive in such weather. If you notice your dogs skin turning blue, visit your VET ASAP, that is the first sign of frostbite. No matter what type of coat your dog has, the change in temperature can shock them, so as winter gets colder, its a good idea to take your pup on short spurts outside so they can get acclimated.
5) Bundle that Fur Baby UP: We all know that dogs have fur and high body temps, however, their fur thickness and types vary widely., From wire haired terriers to fluffy huskies, all dogs have some sort of coat. However, bringing your pup outside in a blizzard and/or chilling temperatures without a jacket is like you climbing Everest in shorts and a tank top! You don't want that, and neither does your dog! Giving them a little extra warmth, will keep those internal organs functioning properly and protect against frostbite (which sets on quickly). Whether you have a small dog, a delicate/sensitive dog, a short-haired dog, or even a large breed dog (Greyhounds, Great Danes, Pitties, Rotties etc), have an appropriate winter wardrobe to keep them safe. Plus, let's be honest, everyone loves dressing up their dog (even if we won't always admit it!).
6) Age Matters when it comes to the Cold: When our fur babies are just that.....babies, they have a hard time regulating their body temperatures. When our fur babies become advanced in age, the same applies: regulating body temp becomes more difficult for them. This weakened ability to regulate body temperature can lead to extreme reactions to weather changes. Even though playing in the snow with your new puppy is lots of fun, remember that it's better to keep the youngsters and the oldsters indoors as much as possible.
7) Beware! Beware! Beware of Antifreeze: In wintertime cars tend to leave behind drips of this necessary stuff in the streets and it can also drip from AC units onto sidewalks. This substance is EXTREMELY POISONOUS TO ANIMALS. As little as ONE TEASPOON can cause kidney failure. Most antifreeze is green ethylene glycol but it comes in many colors, and usually can be spotted by the shiny residue it leaves on concrete. Watch where your dog is sniffing to avoid ingestion of this toxic substance. Look out for drooling, vomiting, excessive thirst, panting, lethargy, and a drunken appearance. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze contact your vet immediately.
Visit our store for more info or for help selecting the correct products to prepare you for winter! All of our outerwear is 25% off through the winter!
We all enjoy spending summer days outside with our furry friends but being an eager beaver in hot weather can be dangerous for them! Here are some tips from our friends at the ASPCA to keep your pets from common summertime ailments:
Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating America’s more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives every day and encourage responsible pet care every day of the year.
National Pet Week celebrates a bond and encourages pet owners to provide their best friends with all they need for a happy, healthy life every week of the year. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, school groups, and communities host a variety of fun and informative events throughout the week.
Despite loving our pets as children, not all pet owners are aware of their pets' needs and what is necessary for them to live a long, happy life by their side. Leading veterinary experts in animal health and welfare invite pet parents to take a few essential actions highlighted during National Pet Week that are vital to achieving a Lifetime of Love.
AVMA has 7 ways to show your pet some extra love during National Pet Week:
Sunday: Get some exercise
With an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% cats in the United States considered overweight or obese, and humans plagued by this issue as well, the AVMA encourages pets and their owners to get regular exercise—together!
Monday: Schedule a vet visit
Everybody loves their pet, yet 53.9% of cat owners and 48.6% of dog owners do not take their pet to the veterinarian unless it is visibly sick or injured. Pets often hide signs of illness, so regular check-ups are vital to catching health problems early.
Tuesday: Pay attention to dental health
Between vet visits, keep breath fresh by brushing and giving your pet a dental treat or chew.
Wednesday: Socialize your pet
If your pet is an only (furry) child and socializes well with other dogs, visit a dog park or have a puppy playdate with a friend so he or she can have some four-legged friend bonding time.
Thursday: Do your part to prevent pet overpopulation
If a pet is not already spayed or neutered, talk to your vet about when you should schedule an appointment or how to avoid unplanned breeding.
Friday: Prepare for emergencies
While making an emergency plan for your family, don’t forget to include a plan to protect your pet.
Saturday: Give them a lifetime of love
Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Pay close attention to changes in health or behavior and act quick to ensure you get the most out of your time with your furry family member.
Visit www.petweek.org for more ideas to show pets some extra love during National Pet Week!
Written by Holly Everett
Even if pets show no signs of digestive issues or chronic conditions, pet parents can nurture their pet's intestinal health by increasing nutrients in their diet to maintain properly functioning systems. Bone broths offer an easy-to-absorb source of essential nutrients that are important for overall health and well-being of all pets, and especially vital for seniors and those with compromised immune systems.
Adding anti-inflammatory nutrients to pets' diets is necessary for disease prevention and overall health. Check out these amazing benefits from our friends at Nugget's Healthy Eats:
1. Digestive Health
Bone broth helps heal and coat the intestinal lining, providing easily digestible micronutrients to strengthen and soothe the gut. A leaky gut consists of small holes and the gelatin in bone broth prevents the intestinal lining from allowing particles, such as bacteria and undigested food, from passing through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream.
2. Liver Detox
Rich in glycine, bone broth increases the liver's capacity to detoxify various toxins including lawn chemicals, processed food, and parasite medications.
3. Immune System Support
Bone broth is concentrated with valuable amino acids such as glycine and proline, promoting production of glutathione (nature's powerful antioxidant) which aids the liver in detoxification, supports healthy lungs, wound healing and resistance to disease.
4. Reduced Inflammation
Bone broth contains several anti-inflammatory nutrients needed to prevent the development of inflammatory illnesses and diseases, including allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, type II diabetes, pancreatitis, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
5. Healthy Joints & Bones
Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans and you are probably familiar with one of them: glucosamine. Bone broth contains tons of glucosamine; it's also packed with other joint-protecting compounds such as chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, giving cartilage its resilience.
Safe for cats and dogs, bone broths aid in gut health to strengthen and soothe our furry friends' stomachs!
Written by Holly Everett
During the last week of September, join us in celebrating our canine companions! National Dog Week is a celebration of dogs, what they mean to people, and supporting the ongoing task of improving life for dogs. Every year, dog lovers focus on the education of dog owners and the general public, interaction between owners and dog care professionals, and particularly on helping lost, abused and unwanted dogs across the country.
National Dog Week is as much about acknowledging the responsibilities of dog owners, dog lovers and the community as it is about celebrating dogs themselves. The week offers a chance to organize new and fun events for dog lovers and dogs, while helping local organizations, shelters and dogs in need.
National Dog Week started in 1928 when a World War I veteran and canine advocate by the name of Captain William Judy decided that a weeklong celebration was the least that could be done to recognize the service and the unwavering loyalty of man's best friend. After returning from the war, in which he earned the Silver Star, Captain Judy established a publishing operation dedicated to canines, in addition to purchasing and publishing Dog World magazine. National Dog Week takes place over the fourth week of September and is a celebration of activities, fundraising events, adoption drives and volunteer assistance programs that get the whole community involved.
National Dog Week is a great opportunity to get out and make a real difference in the lives of dogs in the community, while having fun and learning how to keep one's own companion happy and healthy.
Posted by Holly Everett on Sep 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM
Your companion animal trusts you implicitly to care for his every need. In return, you regain the self-confidence that you can not only care for yourself, but for another. These benefits make pet ownership a smart, compassionate way to cope with mental health or addiction recovery challenges. That’s the verdict of several recent studies which show that interacting with animals improves overall mood, emotional stability, and social skills in people with special needs. Interested? Read on and learn more.
A Friend Through Thick and Thin
Loyalty is a beloved trait of dogs and cats. The faithfulness of these animals makes them ideal companions for those who feel isolated or ostracized from other human beings. Animals care nothing about your social status, personal appearance, or income level. Their only concern is that you show them kindness. In return, they give love and affection, making them ideal friends. This is a crucial point to remember, given that people need friendship in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
A Rock in Times of Trouble
The modern world is a turbulent place. Economic and social changes occur with dizzying speed. People to whom we were once close drift out of our lives. Employment situations seldom last for more than a few years. News networks blast information at us 24 hours a day, and much of it seems tilted towards the negative. Yet pets remain an oasis of stability in our lives, giving us someone to whom we can turn for reassurance any time.
The Best Ice Breaker You’ll Ever Find
Those with mental health or addiction issues often lack the social skills needed to interact with others. One way to help bridge these barriers is to adopt a pet. The act of walking a furry friend gives people the chance to meet and strike up a conversation. Plus, who can resist a dog’s innate friendliness? Many lifelong friendships - or even romances - begin with the help of a four-legged matchmaker.
Some Handy Tips for Choosing the Right Pet
Fur, Feathers, or Scales?
Dogs get most of the credit when it comes to lifting our spirits. But research shows that cats have lots to offer as well. They’re a little more aloof than dogs, but are easier to care for. They’re plush, they purr, and they poop in the same place every time. Many cats develop intimate bonds with their owners. How about birds or reptiles? That’s a complex topic. Most of our feathered friends lack the inherent sociability that comes easy to mammals. Birds need cages, the bigger the better. Many of them squawk louder than you may like. Lizards, snakes, and fish require special food and environments. Plus, they’re rather indifferent to human beings. Stick with dogs and cats and you can’t go wrong.
To Buy or To Adopt.
Adopting rescued animals makes a lot of sense. They cost far less than pets found in stores. They’ve had a tough time in life and appreciate any act of kindness. Also, some pet shops get their dogs from so-called “puppy mills” and other questionable places that no one should support. So pick a shelter animal and make the world a better place.
Prepare Your Heart and Your Head Too
Both cats and dogs can change your life in ways that might tax your patience. So educate yourself before taking the plunge. Knowing a little bit about the canine breeds is smart, even if your dog is a mutt. Feline breeds exist as well and are worth reading about. You’ll find tons of helpful resources online or at your library. Taking the time to get ready for your new companion animal will help you and your four-legged friend to enjoy many wonderful years together. Best of luck and happy pet owning!
Written by Jessica Brody
The monotony of the same old, same old routine kibble doesn’t provide enough of a variety to meet dogs’ nutritional needs. Rotational feeding involves varying the menu on a periodic basis so dogs can broaden their palates and experience a wider range of nutrients and ingredients.
Imagine eating the same meal, day in, day out. Even if it was your favorite food (let’s say pizza), the shine would eventually wear off. At first, you’d be excited: "Pizza for breakfast! Woo hoo!" But give it a week or two. The novelty would wear off and you’d never want to touch a piece of it for a long time. And that’s one of the reasons why pet owners incorporate rotation feeding as part of their dog’s diet.
Most people opt for a conventional feeding plan for their dog. Rotation feeding involves varying a dog’s menu on a daily, weekly, or other routine basis. Every dog is different, which means their dietary needs are different. Each brand of kibble feature a variety of ingredients and dogs may be nutrient-deficient if they are eating the food day after day. Though many pet foods are “complete and balanced”, it’s more beneficial to switch it up and offer a diet that that will meet the dog’s nutritional needs.
For some dogs, changing a dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach, but when dog parents properly introduce a feeding schedule, there will be little to no tummy troubles. A smooth transition between foods is the best way to approach rotational feeding: slowly increase the amount of new food while decreasing the old over the course of a week.
Not only will dogs reap the benefits of a constant rotation of nutritionally-packed foods, this will create excitement at mealtime. Some dogs (and cats!) become uninterested in their food once they are accustomed to it, just like we would if we kept on having to eat pizza. Even a topper rotation with a new, exciting flavor at each feeding will make pets feel like they have a new tasty adventure waiting in their bowl.
No matter how hard we try to keep our dogs on a strict, healthy diet—we’re all guilty of sharing our favorite foods with our furry friends. While their tummies can handle many of the same foods that we can, a few of humans’ favorite foods can contain hidden dangers for our four-legged friends.
Our friends at Kurgo shared the best and worst foods to share with dogs:
Our pets love summer just as much as we do! For many, it’s the best time of year to be out, about, and enjoying all that the season has to offer. While dog parents are encouraged to take their pets out for picnics, hikes, swimming, or running, keep in mind that warm weather potentially be dangerous.
With more consumers looking to incorporate healthier diets into their pets’ lives, there is no surprise that healthy pet treats have risen in popularity in recent years. With more pet parents paying close attention to nutrition and constantly seeking convenience, they have discovered freeze dried treats offer the best of both worlds.
As it is now common for owners take their dogs with them almost everywhere they are allowed, it is no surprise that the portability of freeze-dried dog treats has made them increasingly popular with pet owners. The lightweight, easy-to-store characteristics aren't the only reason for the rise of freeze dried treats. The nutritional value of these products nearly outshines the convenience factor when pet parents are searching for the best treat option for dogs:
People who can’t enjoy a cheeseburger without ketchup or ice cream without hot fudge understand that life is always a little better with some extra flavor on top. Pet owners are beginning to realize that the same goes for their furry friends. Meal enhancers are an exciting, emerging category that can add extra flavor to pets' diets.
Here is some of the remarkable data from GfK about the success of toppers in recent years:
Are you interested in a functional treat that uses a natural remedy for the most common pet ailments? Based in Canada, True Leaf Pet is a manufacturer of functional hemp-based dog treats True Hemp Chews. The long list of medicinal benefits of hemp are becoming recognized by people all over the world. Hemp is not marijuana and is legal in Canada and the USA. It doesn't get dogs high and can provide many potential health benefits for dogs!
Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same plant species of ‘Cannabis Sativa’. Two of the most common compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the psychoactive chemical that produces the cannabis high – and cannabidiol (CBD). Marijuana plants contain high levels of THC. Hemp, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and contains very little THC (less than .3% by law). True Hemp treats contain no THC and only CBD, which support mobility, cancer, obesity, and anxiety.
True Hemp Chews are available in three delicious, functional varieties:
Dental disease is more than just an unattractive cosmetic issue for our pets – when your canine companion or feline friend has red gums, yellow teeth, or stinky breath, it could be a sign of serious oral disease. If ignored and left untreated, it could cause chronic pain and affect a pet’s quality of life. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some kind of oral disease by the age of 3.
Every February, the pet industry draws attention to this serious health issue for pets, but pet dental health shouldn’t be overlooked year-round. Between regular vet visits, pet parents should look for warning signs of declining oral health:
There are a number of ways to prevent harmful bacteria from causing these potentially painful problems. Regular brushing or using water additives or brush-less gels and foams can keep pets teeth clean and prevent future issues.
Raw bones are also a great snack that actually clean dog’s teet! In addition to providing them with a nice oral workout, they give dogs a healthy dose of natural calcium.
One of America’s most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and statistics show that pet owners should share that goal with their cats and dogs.
Data from Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the sixth straight year. Nationwide members filed 1.3 million pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, equaling more than $60 million in veterinary expenses in 2015. The boost in total obesity-related claims signifies a 23% growth over the last three years.
Similar to their human counterparts, excessive body fat increases the risk of preventable health issues and may shorten the life expectancy of cats and dogs. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 585,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions.
Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions
2. Bladder/urinary tract disease
3. Low thyroid hormone production
4. Liver disease
5. Torn knee ligaments
7. Diseased disc on the spine
8. Chronic kidney disease
9. Heart failure
10. Fatty growth
Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Bladder/urinary tract disease
2. Chronic kidney disease
5. Liver disease
7. High blood pressure
8. Heart failure
9. Gall bladder disorder
10. Immobility of spine
Pets’ health can be easily regulated by avoiding feeding table scraps, keeping a consistent diet and monitoring food intake, feeding less or healthier treats, and establishing a healthy and fun exercise schedule
5 Ways to Ease Canine Cabin Fever
The short winter days and cold winter weather mean most of us – including the family pet – have fewer opportunities for outdoor exercise and
play. That can be a problem for energetic breeds that require lots of active play and for dogs accustomed to spending lots of time outdoors.
Signs of “canine cabin fever” can range from unusual barking or howling, to scratching at the back door, to chewing furniture or messing in
the house. These problems occur because your dog is frustrated at being trapped indoors all day – especially if the rest of the family is away
at work and school.
Share the following tips with your customers to save them from a rambunctious furry friend in the coming cold months!
1. Take a walk. The best thing for both you and your pet is to bundle up and brave the cold. As long as the sidewalks and roads aren’t blocked with ice and snow, a daily walk or run together will help your pet dissipate excess energy – and keep you fit. Even bringing the dog along when you walk the children to the school bus can help. Of course, it’s important to be sure that you take appropriate precautions if your daily excursion is in the winter dark.
2. Play outside. Bundle up and put a jacket on your coat and go outside and play on a nice day! Until the cold becomes too much to bear, play fetch with your pup to release some energy. Just be sure to clean your dog’s paws thoroughly to remove any salt or sand that can cause irritation.
3. Stuff a Kong. Can’t get out of the house? Give your pet an interactive toy to keep him occupied. Stuff a Kong stuffed with peanut butter or another favorite treat. Working to get that hidden treat will give him both physical and mental stimulation while you’re gone.
4. Take a class. Sign up for an indoor training class with your dog. Even if it’s only once a week, it’s an opportunity for you and your dog to get out and be active together – plus you’ll have “homework” to practice during the week, something that your pet is sure to enjoy. Try something new – like agility – that will challenge both of you.
5. Send your dog to camp. A great alternative to lonely days at home alone is doggy day camp, day care or play group. Dogs exercise and socialize with other dogs in a safe, supervised environment. Dogs can benefit significantly by participating just once or twice each week. In addition to giving them exercise, these programs actually improve social skills while diminishing negative behaviors at home.
Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off-especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:
1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Don’t forget, it’s smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.
2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. And always be sure to always secure the crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
3. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle-even if it is a long drive.
4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
5. What in your pet’s traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
6. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.
7. Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. He could be injured by flying objects. And please keep him in the back seat in his crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.
8. Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
9. When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.