How to take care of your dogs?

pet safety infographic

No pet owner ever consider a dog only a pet. For us, they are a family member. Taking care of your pet is as essential as taking care of yourself.

Owning a canine can be the biggest joy in life. It is also a big responsibility. If you are considering bringing a canine into your home, consider seriously about the commitment and responsibility a dog owner entails.

How often do you need to visit Veterinary?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs of common illnesses among dogs. Vaccination is another important thing you should always remember.

Vaccination, the onset of common diseases, and aging factor are few of the reasons to frequent vet clinics.

Wellness Check for Pets

A regular check or wellness examination is a periodic medical test of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The need for a wellness check is to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life.

A wellness check may also include vaccinations such as regular shots for rabies, flu, etc.

The time and duration for well checks or periodical visits may differ according to the age of the dog.

Puppy

In general, you should take your pup to your vet every 3 to 4 weeks for necessary vaccinations to ensure if it isn’t developing any complications or other physical ailments. The regular-check may include, shots for rabies and distemper-parvo. Your pup might need shots if it’s displaying symptoms of kennel cough, influenza, or Lyme disease.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs range from the age of 1 to 7 years (depending on breed). These dogs require an annual wellness check, including a heartworm test and other tests your vet recommends based on the results of the check.

A booster shot for rabies and distemper-parvo can be essential, typically every 3 years.

Older Dogs

Older dogs range from the age of 7 to 10 years. These dogs require wellness to check every 6 months or bi-annually. Like humans, older dogs are prone to developing certain diseases and complications as they get older, including arthritis, gum disease, diabetes, vision problems (blindness), kidney disease, cancer, and dementia.

dog different age


7 Common Dog Diseases

Cancer

50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some point. Malignant lymphoma (a tumor of the lymph nodes), mast cell tumors (skin cancer), mammary gland tumors, breast cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas are few of the common cancers found in canine.

Some of the common symptoms of cancer include a lump or a bump, an unhealed wound, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, a lameness or swelling in the bone, and abnormal bleeding. It is necessary to take your pet to the veterinarian and take immediate medical measures.

Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes mellitus is more likely to be found in overweight cats and dogs.

It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in 500 to 1 in 100 dogs will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include consistent thirst, urinating too much, a ravenous appetite and rapid or sudden weight loss.

The treatment for diabetes includes diet (diet plan recommended by a veterinarian), exercise (exercise to avoid a spike in glucose level), and insulin injections.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough (Canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a term loosely used to describe a complex of respiratory infection (both viral and bacterial) that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.

Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where large amounts of canines congregate, such as boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows. Serious cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.

Heartworm

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream—harming arteries and vital organs as they go—ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.

How to prevent Heartworm disease in dogs?

7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

Canine Coronavirus

Canine Coronavirus is an intestinal infection that affects both feral and domesticated dogs. The virus is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestines. A lot of the time the infection will clear up by itself, however, it can be problematic for young pups or adult dogs with other infections such as parvovirus.

Older dogs may not show any symptoms. Some of the rare symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Treatment will involve administering extra fluids and electrolytes. If you suspect your dog has contracted coronavirus, it is important to take it to the bet.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs, and humans. Vaccination is important to curb the contraction of the disease. Rabies is transmitted to people from animals, with over 99% of cases due to dog bites. It is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from an infected animal.

Ringworm

Dermatophytosis is the fungal infection affecting the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws) that is more commonly referred to as a ringworm. A ringworm infection on a dog may simply look like a bald spot, with very little inflammation or redness. The inflammation isn’t really itchy. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and can spread to other animals and humans too.

Healthy Food for Dogs

Here is the comprehensive list of foods and supplements that can be provided to a dog on a daily basis.

dog nutrition chart

Homemade Vs. Store Brought

Homemade food is always better than store brought, however, you must give time to prepare a balanced diet. Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta.

You can introduce store brought food into your dog's daily diet along with a homemade meal. Daily Dog Food should contain;

  • 50% of muscle meat
  • 10% organ meat
  • 15% uncooked bone
  • 20% of vegetables
  • 5% fruit

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner?

Being a responsible dog owner is easy – you must keep your dog’s health first.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Like baby proofing your home, you should pet-proof your dog to keep it away from harm’s place. Many items that are used to baby proof your home can be used for pet-proofing as well. Safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, power outlet covers, safety lid for toilet seats, etc.

Dogs have a tendency to chew on anything they find, hence it’s important to keep medicines and leftover in an inaccessible place. Valuables like jewelry, designer shoes, and clothes can be kept out of reach.

Microchipping

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training covers basic commands for the safety of the dogs. Basic commands like sitting, look, emergency recall, leave it, drop, lie down can be life-saving in many cases. Basic obedience training also helps in keeping them in check outdoors.

Housetraining, leash training, socializing, and proofing is a few of the other essential training guide for your dogs. These ensure that your dog follows basic manners and keep themselves out of any trouble at home or outside.

Exercise

Just like humans, dogs require exercise on a daily basis for optimal mental and physical health. The amount of exercise your dog needs depending on their breed, age, and level of physical fitness.

Obesity is common in dogs with poor diet and less exercise. Finding time to work out can be difficult for dogs with a busy owner. There's also an increased risk of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

If you’re unable to give time for your pet, you can consider dropping them off to daycare.

Check-Ups

Regular checkup or wellness check is essential to keep your dog in a fit condition. Regular checkup ensures that your dog is safe from common diseases, they’ll get vaccination on time, and can enjoy a long life through preventive Medicare.

Zoonotic Diseases Facts [Infographic]

Did You Know? Urban slums have the highest cases of zoonotic infection. Most of the zoonotic diseases are caused by pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

Scientists in the US estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in humans spread from animals.


What is Zoonotic Disease?

Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being. In general, these diseases normally exist in animals but can affect humans through different forms of contact.

The zoonotic disease can be caused by a range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic in nature.

zoonotic historical image

How is the Zoonotic Disease Transmitted to humans?

Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans through four major channels.

i. Direct contact

In the direct zoonosis, the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies). Zoonosis can also occur from contact with blood, urine, mucus, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal. Petting or touching an animal, and scratches can also account for zoonosis through direct contact.

ii. Indirect contact

In Indirect contact, the zoonosis takes place through a secondary medium with any direct contact with the infected animals. This can occur at places or areas where animals live and roam, or objects or surfaces that they were in contact with. Indirect contact can occur from pet habitats, animal shelter, and contaminated pet food or utensils.

iii. Vector-borne

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitos, fleas, and ticks. The vectors become a host for infection after they have bitten the infected animals. Then they are carried to human beings through the bite.

iv. Foodborne

Consuming contaminated food is another major concern for zoonotic disease. Although foodborne diseases are more common in third world countries, every year one in six Americans gets sick from eating contaminated food. Unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat or eggs, or raw fruits and stale vegetables can cause foodborne zoonotic diseases.


Who is more prone to Zoonotic Diseases?

Some people are more at risk of zoonotic diseases than others. The fitness, age, and medical condition of a person may determine the chances of transmitting zoonotic disease.

These groups of people include:

  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults older than 65
  • People with weakened immune systems

The risk may be slightly higher in people with a compromised immune system from disease or medication which includes;

  • people with AIDS/HIV.
  • people on chemotherapy or receiving radiation therapy.
  • people who are elderly or have chronic diseases.
  • people with congenital immune deficiencies.
  • people who have received organ or bone marrow transplants.
  • pregnant women (the fetal immune system is not fully developed, and the pregnant woman's immune system is altered during pregnancy).

People who fall into these categories must be extra careful when they are around animals. Take basic precautions such as washing hands after petting or touching the animal, and avoiding secondary contacts such as staying away from contaminated food or pet shelters.

What Zoonotic Diseases does a Dog Carry?

Most of the zoonotic diseases in humans are transmitted from pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these are the most common zoonotic diseases found in the US. These can be prevented by implementing the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

a. Ringworm

The symptoms of ringworm in dogs include dandruff-like scaling in the depths of the coat, red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back.

b. Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the Salmonella type. It usually results in symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

c. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and animals. It is transmitted from infected animals to humans through bite or saliva. Rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid rabies infection in the future.

d. Leptospirosis

A leptospirosis is a common form of infection in dogs that is caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira. Signs of leptospirosis include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

e. Lyme disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. Lyme disease can cause kidney failure and death in severe cases.

f. Campylobacter infection

PetMD reports that up to 49 percent of dogs carry campylobacteriosis, shedding it into their feces for other animals to contract. Humans can easily contract the disease if they fail to practice proper hygiene after coming into contact with an infected animal. The signs of Campylobacter infection in dogs include watery to mucoid diarrhea, abdominal cramping or pain, lethargy, and fever.

g. Roundworms

Roundworms can infest the dog digestive tract. The signs of roundworm in dogs include colic, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal swelling, abnormal feces, etc. Coming in contact with contaminated soil or infected dog feces can result in human ingestion and infection.

h. Scabies

Sarcoptic mange or Scabies in dogs is caused by the Sarcoptes scabies mite, a highly contagious skin parasite. The mites burrow into their skin and cause severe itching that can result in the formation of scabs and hair loss.

zoonotic diseases facts

Prevention from Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are reported to be one of the most common diseases contracted by humans worldwide. To prevent zoonotic diseases, you should adopt the following measures.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Wash hands before and after handling or petting animals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything close to the pet’s shelter.
  • Wear preventive overalls when handling farm animals.
  • Avoid handling sick animals or animals with lesions without wearing any gloves and masks.
  • Always wear a mask while entering pet shelters such as dog kennel and animal farms.
  • DO NOT enter the agricultural animal facilities when you are sick!
  • Use preventive gear while cleaning any animal area.
  • If you notice any sign of illness, contact your medical personnel ASAP.

ENVIRONMENTAL MAINTENANCE

  • Keep animal shelters such as kennel and cattle farm organized and regularly cleaned.
  • It’s important to clean any urine and fecal build-up. Dry feces result in fecal dust which may be inhaled. Most bacteria reside inside the fecal build-up.
  • Clean rooms have a lower likelihood of horizontal or zoonotic transfer.
  • Build animal housing areas away from the house or in an isolated area unless you’re building a dog kennel.
  • Quarantine the animal’s housing area with the help of experts when you notice the sign of any major infection or diseases.

HERD/FLOCK MAINTENANCE

This is more applicable if you own or handle a large number of animals such as cattle flock.

  • Observe animals for health status on a daily basis.
  • Report sick or dead animals.
  • Note health problems such as diarrhea, difficulty breathing, depressed, immobile.
  • Take extra caution in cleaning the areas around ill animals. Don’t spread possible pathogens.
  • Isolate affected animals as appropriate.
  • Record history or progression of animal disease.

Preventive Takeaways from Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

Urban Pet Hospital and Resort is a premier Doggy daycare in Urbandale that ensures the prevention of any infection or disease caused by animals. Here are four preventive takeaways that you should always keep in mind.

  1. Properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  2. Prevent contamination of water sources.
  3. Undertake pet vaccinations.
  4. Avoid contact with wild animals.

Major Health Ailments faced by Bulldog [Infographic]

Bulldog, also known as the British Bulldog or English bulldog, is a medium-sized breed of dog. It is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose.

According to a study, they are the fifth most popular dog breed found in the US.

Bulldogs are known to be a dependable and gentle dog breed that make great family pets. They are a very sociable animal. A mature male may weigh 50lb (23kg), while mature females can weigh about 40lb (18kg).

The modern bulldogs are genetically modified from their predecessors. The excess modification to fit the boutique model made them prone to many physical ailments that can cause their lives.

What do Most Bulldogs die from?

According to a health study of 180 bulldogs made in 2004, the research found out that 20% died from cardiac-related issues, 18% died of cancer, and 9% died of old age. The dogs who died of old age lived up to 10-11 years.

Allergy

Bulldogs are one of the breeds susceptible to allergies. The symptoms of allergy may include:

  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Irritated skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Pawing at eyes

Mast cell tumor

Mast cells tumor generally occur through allergic reactions. The immune cells contain chemicals or granules that are released upon stimulation by an allergen. These cells are located throughout the body and within the skin. This is a more slow-growing cancer in dogs, however, more aggressive mast cell tumors grow faster and may ulcerate.

As reported by Pets.WebMD.com, “Mast cell tumors most commonly occur on the trunk of the body, though they are found on the legs about 25% of the time.”

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs have a short and pushed-in nose. Because of their short nose and narrow nostrils, Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems, panting, chronic discomfort, exercise intolerance and difficulty eating.

Obesity in dogs can worsen the breathing problem, hence you must keep your bulldog lean and healthy.

Cherry Eye

Dogs are gifted with three eyelids, where two are readily visible and third one is faintly visible. It consists of tear-producing glands in dogs. The gland remains hidden from outside until the dogs are affected with congenital weakness in ligaments which causes the glands to pot out of their place. It looks like a ‘cherry’ popping out of their eye.

Dermatitis

Bulldogs mainly suffer from skin fold dermatitis or skin inflammation due to the excessive rubbing of skin and trapping of moisture in the tail, lip and facial folds. It is essential to clean their wrinkles and keep moisture-free frequently to prevent bacterial growth. Skinfold dermatitis is easily identified as hairless (alopecic), reddened, and bad smell areas of folded skin or wrinkles.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in bulldogs that cause the malformation of the hip and elbow joints. It can cause pain, lameness, decreased activity, difficulty rising, and reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs. You can decrease the chances of hip and elbow dysplasia in them by taking them on regular walks. Obesity may also give rise to dysplasia.

Heat Sensitivity

Bulldogs are heat sensitive dog breeds. Their heat intolerance is related to their breathing issues. Although they do not tolerate the rigorous exercise, they can tolerate short daily walks.

bulldog health ailments


What is the life expectancy of a bulldog?

Although the breeders may say that the average bulldog lifespan is 8-10 years. If your bulldog lives 11-12 years, consider yourself lucky!

It's well known that bulldogs suffer from a variety of physical ailments that make them particularly unhealthy. The breeding to the extremes of the physical features makes them prone to diseases and short lifespan.

Bulldog Life Expectancy

  • A healthy English bulldog has an average life expectancy of 10-11 years. The median lifespan is 8.4 years for the English bulldog.
  • The French bulldog’s life expectancy is 10-12 years.
  • The American Bulldog’s life expectancy is 10-15 years. The American Bulldog is the healthiest of the bulldog breeds, hence the longest lifespan.

Are Bulldogs Expensive to Take Care Of?

Bulldog puppies from small-scale breeders are likely to cost between $1,500 and $4,000. Most bulldogs are also sold at just $1000-$1200, however, they are mostly bred at puppy-mill that makes them prone to various physical ailments.

Maintaining a bulldog’s health and lifestyle doesn’t come cheap. The annual bill for the vet, food, supplements, and training can go over $5000.

  • Dog Insurance - $500–$1200/year.
  • Food - $500-$800/year. Bulldogs need a special type of food, so the choice of cheap options may be quite limited.
  • Supplements for joints - $100/year.
  • Anti-parasite/flee etc treatments - $300/year. May be less if you don’t go where ticks are and opt out of that part.
  • These are essentials. Now, regular monthly costs: treats, additional food products, potty bags, toys (they destroy them quickly), chew bones - $300-$500/year. Some things you can buy in dollar stores and online in bulk.
  • Occasional boarding - at least $20–30 a day is dedicated boarding places.

How to take care of an English bulldog puppy?

a. Feeding

You should change their food brands gradually to ensure optimum nutrition is met. Dogs may not immediately accept a new brand, hence, you can introduce it to them slowly. Mix 1/2 and 1/2 for a week, then 1/4 and 3/4 for a week, then full change over.

You should feed your dog (pup) three times a day for the first four months after arrival. After 6 months, you can curb the meal to only 2x times a day. After 12 months you can curb to once a day.

Avoid feeding your dog human food or directly from the kitchen. Examples of popular human-dog toxic to dogs are;

  • Avocados
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chives, onions, and garlic
  • Nuts
  • Yeast doughs
  • Anything made with the sweetener xylitol especially found in sugar-free gums

b. Caring

Caring and monitoring your pup’s health is essential. Your bulldog may develop diarrhea when a new brand of food is introduced. In such a case, stop all food for 12 hours. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, contact your vet immediately.

To prevent infections, provide puppy preventative treatment from local pests. Ticks, fleas, mites, lice, and intestinal worms are a common form of infections.

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

Take your pup for regular veterinary checkups. The veterinarian will examine the puppies to make sure there are no hernias, heart, lung, or eye or ear problems in any of the pups.

At the 12 weeks visit the rabies vaccination will be given—although this may vary depending on local laws. This vaccination is required by many communities.

c. Grooming

Bulldogs need frequent grooming. You should carefully examine each day for signs of infections. The wrinkles should be gently washed and thoroughly dried at least every other day.

The English bulldog’s short hair coat will shed so a thorough brushing once a week with a soft-bristled brush is recommended. While you’re grooming, keep an eye open for any fleas, ticks, or mites, along with any lumps, bumps, or cysts on the skin.

 

National Siamese Cat Day

April 6 is celebrated as the National Siamese Cat Day throughout the USA. Everyone loves Siamese Cats, and April is marked as a month to celebrate their existence in our life.

DID YOU KNOW? – Siamese Cats are the oldest domestic felines.

Although known for their pleasing look and class, Siamese cats make a great pet. They are one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat that became one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America in the 19th Century.

Few Facts about Siamese Cats

Origin

Siamese Cats originated in Thailand, then known as Siam. They were also described as being held in high esteem by royal families. It was believed that after death the soul of a family member enters the body of a Siamese.

700-year-old breed

There are depictions of Siamese cats in Thailand dating to the 14th and 18th centuries. They were favored as royal pets.

Presidential pets

A Thai diplomat gave President Rutherford B. Hayes's wife Lucy a Siamese cat named Siam in the late 1870s. Since then, cats have started occupying the White House.

They had crossed eyes and kinked tails

Siamese cats originally had crossed eyes and kinked tails, though these traits were eventually bred out of the breed.

According to one legend, a group of Siamese cats was tasked with guarding a golden, royal goblet. Performing their duties, the cats stared at the goblet with such intensity that their eyes crossed. And because they wrapped their tails around the goblet for extra security, their tails became permanently bent.

15-pound fat cats

The average male Siamese weighs in between 11 and 15 pounds, and the average female weighs in between 8 and 12 pounds.

They're movie stars

They are movie stars too. Siamese cats have appeared in films including "The Incredible Journey" and "Lady and the Tramp"

Intelligent and Outgoing

Siamese cats are known to be very intelligent, talkative, and affectionate. The Siamese is not an aloof breed, but one that demands its owner attention and affection.

National Puppy Day

March 23 is celebrated as the National Puppy Day through the U.S. Puppies are probably the most adorable animals on Earth. Thanks to their undying charm, innocent eyes, and timid limbs, they manage to capture our affection.

National Puppy Day is all about raising adoption awareness. Tons of homeless puppies land in the shelter every year. They are basically stuck in the rescue center throughout their life until they are adopted or euthanized.

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Celebrity Pet & Home Lifestyle Expert and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day (among many others).

The benefits of adopting a Puppy

a. Cheaper to Adopt

It's cheaper to adopt a pet than to buy one. Almost 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters every year. Each year 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, simply because there isn’t enough space for new pets that land up in the shelter.

It costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need homes too.

b. Prevent Puppy Mill

It helps to prevent puppy mills from producing pets meant for commercial selling. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed and ill-fed. Most animals from puppy mill land up in the shelter when they aren’t brought by anyone.

c. Awareness about Animal Rights

Adopting a pet raises the concern for shelter animals. People who aren’t aware of shelter animal will learn about them. Those who are unaware about the ill-treatment of animals will learn about the issues faced by innocent animals. This helps to place a new law or legislation for animal rights.

d. Happy Time

You get to spend lots of time playing and cuddling with a puppy. The recent scientific study revealed that spending time with your favorite pet helps to reduce stress and depression. Most old-age homes have started adopting pets to spend time with their elder members.

How to Celebrate National Puppy Day?

  • Adopt a puppy from your local shelter, rescue or pure breed rescue organization.
  • Are you prepared for puppy parenting? Start off on the right paw! Hire a professional that can help you.
  • Donate money, food, and toys to your local shelter.
  • Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.
  • Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills in your state.
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their puppy.
  • Have a puppy party and invite all your friends and their puppies!
  • Join a fun, dog-friendly community online and post pics of your puppy for the world to ooh and ahh over!
  • Host a community event to raise money for your local animal shelter.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a puppy or play with a puppy, clean cages or anything else they need help with.
  • Have a portrait painted of your puppy to suspend the fleeting magic of puppydom.
  • Buy your puppy a fun, new puppy toy.
  • Give your puppy some fun exercise by taking him or her to puppy daycare.
  • Brush your puppy to eliminate excess fur.
  • Give your puppy a massage or holistic spa treatment.
  • Get your puppy some leash training lessons.
  • Buy your puppy a cute new outfit or fashionable collar and leash.
  • Have a tee shirt made with your puppy's photo on it.
  • Take your puppy to the beach.

March 3 is National If Pets Had Thumbs Day

It’s hard to believe but you have to believe it anyway. March 3rd is celebrated as "If Pets Had Thumbs Day."

The thumb in humans and apes serve a great function. It rotates at the carpometacarpal joint, and it is, therefore, opposable to the other fingers and may be used in combination with them to pick up small objects. It helps in stronger grip and precision grip which is practically impossible for other animals.

Many of our pets manage to get into all kinds of trouble without a thumb, so we’d like to imagine what could happen if pets had a thumb. Maybe they would rule over the world.

Things Pets could do with Thumbs

Hitchhike

Imagine your pets standing at the side of the road with their hands stretched and thumbs up in the air stopping the car. This can be possible if they had a thumb. Pets can be very mischief at times, hence, hitchhiking to their favorite spot won’t be impossible.

Give a Thumbs up

What if your pet could approve you all the time? That can be possible if they had a thumb, It would be nice if they could give a little back. How great would it be if they could give us positive affirmations? Somehow, the idea of your pet giving you a "thumbs up" seems really awesome.

Thumb wrestle

How great is the idea to thumb-wrestle with your favorite pal at home? Kids love thumb-wrestling. The only thing preventing pets from thumb-wresting is that they don’t have a thumb. If they had one, it would be awesome to thumb-wrestle with them all the time.

Open the Fish Can

Cats love eating fish. They can devour the entire can of sardine or tuna if they find an open can. Imagine if they had a thumb, wouldn’t they just open their favorite can of food and finish it all up before their human companion showed up?

Texting

Texting is our favorite time-pass activity. Would your cat or dog just love to text their mates whenever they are sitting idle? Although having thumbs sounds like an exaggerated idea, it would be cool for pets to pick up the phone and text. Do you think your pet would text you all the time?

Open the Refrigerator

Speaking of food, why limit the choices to canned food only? Your pet would always want to open up the refrigerator and munch on their favorite meals all the time. Kitties would be screwing off the lid to the milk jug and your dog will be feasting on the steak almost all the time!

How to Prevent Pets from Fertilizer Poisoning?

It’s quite common for animals to ingest chemicals sprayed over the fields. Most chemical fertilizers contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (potash) as indicated by the three numbers on the packaging (i.e., 30-10-10 or 10:0:40).

Most fertilizers contain insecticide used specifically to kill germs, insects, and pests that can be hazardous to home pets when consumed.

As a responsible homeowner, you should prevent your pets from wandering around the lawn for 72 hours or 3 days before the chemicals subside.

fertilizer poisoning

What is Fertilizer Poisoning?

Plant Fertilizer is commonly known as "Plant food." It is commonly used to fertilize plant or vegetation in the garden. The fertilizers keep plants healthy and allow them to grow faster. Most fertilizer comes with a pesticide that is used to kill plant pests from damaging the plants.

When a human or animal ingests these chemical or comes in close contact with it, they act as a poison. The fertilizer poising can range from mild to severe complications. Depending on the length of time of contact and how the fertilizer poisoning occurred, these complications may include oral burns and stomach irritation. Chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides in addition to the compounds such as phosphorous, iron, nitrogen are toxic when consumed in large amounts.

The immediate thing you can do when you notice your pet is suffering from fertilizer poisoning is to take it to the nearest vet or clinic. No fertilizer is hundred percent safe, even advertised as so, hence keep your pets away from the garden, lawn, or plants.

Homeowners often use fertilizers during spring and fall to sprawl up their lawn.


Types of Fertilizers

The fertilizer comes in two types; granular and water-based. These are sprayed over the plants. The chemical residue on plant’s leaves and hangs and soil can remain active for a while.

Inorganic Fertilizer

Inorganic fertilizer is composed of chemicals and chemically produced compounds. They need to more productive and highly nutritious than organic fertilizer.

Some of the popular inorganic fertilizers include Nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, potash fertilizer, micronutrient fertilizer, and compound fertilizer.

 

Organic Fertilizer

Organic fertilizer is known as farmyard manure of natural fertilizers, mainly from animals and plants. When applied, it can supply carbonic materials for plants growth. It contains organic acid and rich nutritions.

Examples of organic fertilizer are such as

a. Agricultural waste

Agricultural waste includes straws, bean pulp, cottonseed meal and the kitchen waste such as cut vegetables.

b. Livestock manure

Livestock manure is a popular form of fertilizer. It comes from livestock's waste such as pig manure, chicken manure, rabbit manure, and cow manure. Although they are very productive they contain hazardous substance such as Escherichia Coli and nematode that can harm seedling. To reduce harm, you should only apply livestock manure after composting.

c. Industrial waste

Industrial waste such as distillers' grain, vinegar residue, and sugar-free grains can be useful to reduce industrial waste and increase agricultural productivity.

d. Municipal sludge

Municipal sludge is produced by sewage treatment plants. It contributes to soil amelioration as well as reducing pollution. The biggest advantage of using municipal sludge is that it repurposes the sewage waste.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is any material that is applied or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering to conserve soil moisture, improve fertility and health of the soil, reduce weed growth, and to enhance the visual appeal.

A mulch may or may not contain organic matters. It may be permanent (e.g. plastic sheeting) or temporary (e.g. bark chips) that are applied to bare soil or around existing plants.

Mulches of manure or compost will be incorporated naturally into the soil by the activity of worms and other organisms.

Cocoa Mulch

Cocoa mulch is made from shells or hulls from the cocoa bean that is often used for home landscaping. It is chosen for its fragrance when first placed in the yard and smells faintly of chocolate. Dogs may be tempted to ingest it because of the smell. Cocoa or chocolate is harmful to dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and high-fat contents which are toxic for dogs and cats

Signs of cocoa mulch poisoning include:

  • Not eating
  • Drooling/hyper salivating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • A racing heart rate
  • Constant panting
  • Dark red gums
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

How to Prevent Pet Poisoning

The first step to stop fertilizer poisoning is to prevent poisoning. Here are a few of the steps you can undertake to ensure that your pet remains safe and healthy.

i. Keep Fertilizer Bags out of reach

An open bag of fertilizer will warmly welcome pets to nibble or taste. The direct consumption of fertilizer can cause seizure, trauma, or even death. As a responsible homeowner, you should keep the harmful substance from out of the reach of your pets. The safety of their life can only be ensured by you.

ii. Do not allow pets into the lawn

After spraying the fertilizer into your lawn, leave it for rest for at least 72 hours before you allow pets and family member to step into the lawn. The leaves and soil still consist of the chemical residue which can be harmful if ingested by pets or children. Although mild, the effects of the chemical can be troublesome.

iii. Properly wash your hand before touching your pet

It’s important that you properly wash your hand before touching or grooming your pet after dealing with fertilizer. Most foreign agents or enzymes enter your pet’s skin through touch. Your pets may easily inhale or lick the chemical residue off your hand.

iv. Use hazard-free fertilizer

There is much bio-degradable and non-hazard fertilizer available for sprawling the lawn. Care to buy the bag with least hazard. This can be beneficial for your health, your pet’s health, the quality of soil, and the surrounding environment.

v. Remove debris and dead pests

After spraying the fertilizer, you should check if there are any dead pests, chemical residue, or debris left open. These are mostly digestible and your pet may find it fascinating enough to nibble or eat altogether.


Signs of Fertilizer Poisoning

Some of the common signs of fertilizer poisoning in animals include;

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (acute or delayed onset)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal posture due to abdominal pain
  • “Muddy” colored gums
  • Severe lethargy/collapse
  • Excessive tearing
  • Urination
  • Abnormal heart rates
  • Difficulty breathing (due to bronchoconstriction)
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

How to treat fertilizer poisoning in pets?

The treatment of fertilizer poisoning in pets may depend on the size of the dog, the quantity of fertilizer consumed, and how long the fertilizer was on the skin or system.

  • The main therapy involves supportive means as such stabilizing your pet and controlling their breathing and heart rate.
  • Other steps include medication to increase urine output and bowel movements, gastro protectants for stomach issues, poison absorbents, and topical medicines for skin irritation.
  • A vet will try to remove toxins from the body to bring it to normal.

 

If you notice any symptoms of pet poisoning, you should consider visiting the nearest veterinarian in Des Moines. An immediate medical response is important to ensure that your pet remains safe.

How to Prevent Heartworm in Pets

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

American Heartworm Society (AHS) reported that the case of heartworm in Dogs has increased by 21 percent in recent years. Almost 200 dogs get infected each year.

Stage of Metamorphosis

It generally takes about seven months for larvae, once it is inside a host, to mature into adult heartworm. They then lodge themselves into the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length and can live 5-7 years. A dog can be infected with as many as 250 worms in its system.

Although it affects the heart, the adult parasites often reside in the pulmonary arterial system (lung arteries).


7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

The best thing is that it can be treated successfully with safe treatments available in most veterinary centers and pet hospitals.

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs

The heartworm in Dogs can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets. The drugs approved for use in the US are Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

The preventive measures are recommended year-around in the regions with higher temperature. Annual heartworm testing is highly recommended for pet owners who choose to use minimal dosing schedules. Get in touch with veterinary care in Des Moines to know more about Heartworm prevention.

 

How to Rescue Pets from Flea and Ticks

Spring and Summer are probably the best seasons for any pet to go outdoors and play. Hiding inside the bush, rolling on the grass, and trotting along the park are few of the popular activities of dogs. Although, the seasons are popular for their hue and beauty, they also serve as the beginning of the arrival of many unwanted guests –Flea & Tick.

The soft, warm fur of your pets provide the safest environment for fleas and ticks to breed. These parasites feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses.

Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. That can lead to an infestation in days.

Fleas and ticks are more common during the warmer months that may last until the winter. The infected pets can spread illness to their human counterparts as well.

Signs of Flea & Ticks Infestation

  • Flea droppings, which look like dark specks, in the fur
  • Flea eggs, which look like white specks, in the fur
  • Excessive licking or scratching
  • Scabs or hot spots on the skin

Flea & Ticks Complications

  • Flea or Ticks infection can lead to significant blood loss or anemia over time.
  • The lack of red blood cells can be life-threatening for young dogs and cats.
  • Ticks also carry diseases, such as Lyme disease (a bacterial infection).

How to Remove Fleas & Ticks

  • Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
  • Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
  • Pull straight up. Don't twist.
  • Don't squeeze (or pop!) the bloated belly.

Flea & Tick Prevention

Flea & Tick Shampoo

Flea and tick shampoo is mainly useful for killing the parasites present on your pets. It doesn’t work as well to prevent fleas and ticks. You can buy the shampoo without a prescription, but follow the directions carefully. While applying the shampoo, you need to cover the animal’s entire body and wait 10 minutes before rinsing.

Collars

Flea collars can be useful to ward off fleas and ticks, however, puppies and kittens may need flea collars with a lower dose of chemicals. Wash your hands with soap and water after you handle it.

Tablets

Some oral tablets can be useful to prevent flea and tick infection. One type is a quick fix that kills adult fleas within 30 minutes. You can consider giving it to your pet daily. Other medications can keep flea eggs from hatching. Some flea medications need a prescription. Also, there are dogs-only oral products that kills fleas and ticks. Check with your vet to see which treatment is right for your pet.

Skin Treatments

Most skin treatments consist of creams that can be applied on pet’s skin. You put these treatments on your dog or cat’s back. They work well for a month. Some kill fleas and ticks as well.


Be careful and take precaution while taking your pets out of the house.

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

Making your home hygienic and safe is critical to avoiding pet poisoning because more than 90% of poisonings occur at home. Pets have a habit of nibbling on leftover, scavenging the dust bin, and ingesting pills on the floor.

Basic Food that causes Pet Poisoning

Many foods commonly found in the kitchen are toxic to our pets. Avoid giving your pets a taste of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (sugar-free gum/peanut butter)
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Caffeine
  • Onions
  • Macadamias
  • Mushrooms

43% of pet-poison call was made for dogs that ingested over-the-counter-drugs, and 16% of calls were for dogs that helped themselves to foods that are safe for humans, but poisonous for dogs.

The overdose of dietary supplement and vitamins were another cause for pet poisoning.

Although it’s hard to determine the poisoning, you must look out for these signs to provide immediate medical treatment.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Twitching
  • Tremors
  • Seizure

Some of the other major pet poisoning problems are;

a. Irregular Heartbeats from Dog Poisoning

Ingestion of items such as jimson weed, kalanchoe, milkweed, mountain laurel, and oleander can cause an irregular heartbeat.

b. Kidney Failure from Poisoning

Antifreeze poisoning can cause your dog kidney failure and the inability to produce urine. Plants can also cause kidney damage. House plants such as dieffenbachia, Easter lily, caladium, pigweed, and philodendron can cause antifreeze poisoning that can lead to pet’s kidney damage.

c. Liver Damage from Dog Poisoning

Eating medications like acetaminophen and plants such as tansy ragwort or rattlebox can cause liver damage in pets.

d. Loss of Blood from Dog Poisoning

Ingesting rat or mouse poison can cause loss of blood from the stool. Eating onion, garlic, sweet clover, or bracken fern could also lead to anemia.

e. Neurological Symptoms from Dog Poisoning

Accidentally eating antidepressants, alcohol, aspirin, drain cleaners, dishwasher soap, gasoline, marijuana, flea repellents, tobacco, furniture polish, and strychnine can lead to severe neurological ailments in pets. The seizure is a common problem created by poisoning. Bite from breeds of snakes, spiders, toads, and frogs can cause the seizure.

How to Prevent Pet Poisoning

1. Keep Cabinets and Doors Locked

You must consider keeping your kitchen and bathroom cabinets closed all the time. The shelf which are in pets reach should be locked, so they can’t open it. Do not throw unused or expired medications in the garbage can.

2. Be Aware of Poisonous Household Products

Most household products such as lotions, creams, perfume, and house plants can cause fatal poisoning in pets. You should determine what things can be poisonous to your pets and consider keeping them away.

3. Stay Informed

Be mindful of the types of products, food, and plants you bring into your home. Also, keep the number of emergency services and veterinary care in reach. It is essential to have the local poison control phone number accessible and added to your mobile phone’s contact list. Better yet, download an app!


Always be careful when it comes to the life of your pet! Keeping in mind the safety first is important to ensure their health and wellness.