How to Become a Foster Parent to Pets?

Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting. Like fostering a human child, fostering a pet includes providing them utmost love, emotional support, hygienic meal, and time.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pets are in need of constant care. Pets are in desperate need of foster care at this time partly because many shelter homes and volunteers had to close down temporarily to self-isolate. Pet abandonment is also rising mainly because people are forced to stay home with no work. With no money, pet owners are more likely to abandon.

Those with sheer interest and resources can definitely take up fostering. One can contact the local pet shelter to check if they can foster a pet. They will often set you up with the basic necessities, pet care advice and a supply of pet food to get started.

Why do People need to foster Pets?

There are many reasons a pet might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for pets until suitable homes are found.
  • A pup is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until it is old enough for adoption
  • A pet is recovering from surgery, illness, or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A pet is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A pet has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • In many cases, fostering pets can help save space in the shelter which is running out of room for adoptable pets.
  • It helps shelter or rescues another pet.

How Do I Become A Foster Care Provider?

Deciding to become a foster parent to homeless pets can be the greatest treasures. So you’ve decided to become a pet foster parent, but what next?

Here is the brief outline to fostering a pet:

  • Check with local shelter homes or petfinder.com to find shelters and rescue groups near you.
  • Contact the organization in-person and fill up the foster application.
  • Evaluate and complete applications carefully
  • Get ready to bring home your foster pet
  • Share special moments with your pet and give the utmost care and attention
  • Socializing and training are parts of fostering a new pet.

Although it can be harder for the foster parents to send off their beloved pet once it is ready to be adopted, the bittersweet experience can be overcome by the feeling that you have more pets to take in and care for.

The first and foremost step is to contact your local shelter and rescue home. Websites like www.petfinder.com help to locate an animal shelter or rescue group near you along with filtering your search request to a specific breed, age, and type of animals. You can also find many other different adoption organizations that help seniors, special needs, or different animal types.

After successfully locating an organization, you can inquire or put in your request to foster a pet. Each application is carefully reviewed. You must ask this question:

  • Who pays for the vet bills?
  • Who is financially responsible for the dog’s food, microchip, leashes, crate, etc.?
  • Where will the dog be introduced to prospective adopters and what are your responsibilities?
  • Are you responsible for training the dog and if so, to what level?

The size of your home and time spent with a pet also determines if you can qualify to become a foster parent. For certain dogs, a foster parent who is home all day may be required, or home without cats or children.

The shelter or rescue group may require a veterinary reference and/or a printed application and one or more telephone or in-person interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fostering

Here are some of the crucial questions you must consider before taking up fostering.

a. Are you able to separate the foster pets from your own?

You should have a place where you can isolate your foster pet from your own companion animals. It is important to introduce them slowly.

b. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?

Preparing your home and the area the animal will stay in can prevent most accidents, help keep your pet safe and help set you both up for fostering success.

c. Are you willing to help a pet with medical concerns or who may need medication?

Ask if your foster pet has any medical considerations to be aware of any medication it needs to take. If so, make sure that you’re willing and able to make sure your pet is getting the medication or care.

d. Can you get to the shelter’s vet quickly in case of an emergency?

Talk to the shelter or rescue group about how they prefer you to handle any emergencies. The shelter or rescue group likely works with a veterinarian who can treat your foster pet. If the animal you are fostering needs medical attention, you will need to transport them to the veterinarian’s office or shelter for care.

e. What will you do to prepare to return the pet after the foster period is up?

Sometimes it can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Although an emotional moment, when the day comes that you must bring your first foster pet back to the shelter or to an adoptive home you should be willing to do it.

f. Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these pets are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process at the shelter?

If you are interested in helping to find a home for your foster pet, refer your friends and family to the shelter or rescue group to complete an adoption application.

Qualifications

To be a successful foster parent, you will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or partner, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior. The length of time a foster pet may stay in your home varies with the animal’s situation.

Know Your Limits

Foster parents should know their limits while taking in a new foster pet.

  • Does your homeowner's insurance or city have any breed or weight restrictions? Do you have time to devote to a foster pet while giving your own pets the attention and care they need?
  • What kind of behavior problems are you comfortable dealing with – counter surfing, pulling on the leash, jumping when greeting, inappropriate elimination, separation anxiety, barking, reactivity? Don’t accept a foster that may need help beyond your experience and knowledge, unless you are willing to consult with a qualified trainer.
  • What kind of health considerations might you be willing to accommodate? Providing medication? Incontinence? Digestive disorders? Special dietary needs?
  • Do you require a foster dog that is comfortable around small children or other animals?

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on fostering and adopting a pet.

How to keep your pets occupied during the lockdown?

There is a lot of news coming out about pet owners struggling to stay home with their pets. Most pet owners are finding it hard to find new activities to keep their pets indulged throughout the day.

One thing pet owners can worry less about the pandemic is that there are no cases of COVID in pets. Scientists confirmed that pets such as dogs and cats are less likely to contract COVID-19. However, they are prone to different types of coronaviruses, but that has nothing to do with the current outbreak of COVID-19.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no animals in the US have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.

How to keep your pets occupied during the Lockdown?

Here is a guide for the pet owners to help make things a little easier for their pets. We have broken down the guide according to the animal you own.

Dog

Here is how you can keep your dog occupied.

Search Games: No games are ever outdated for dogs. At this time of lockdown, you can create a game such as hiding treats or toys around the house for your dog to find. This will help to keep them on their feet and stimulate their brain.

Shell game: This is a popular mental stimulus. Place three plastic cups upside-down on the floor and hide a treat or toy under a cup. Move the cups around each other. Let your dog find the treat or toy by point out any of the cups.

Chewing: Chewing is the natural behavior of dogs. Give them chews such as Kongs to keep them busy for hours, as well as helping to maintain good dog dental hygiene.

Teach basic commands: This can be the best time to train your dog. You can begin with basic commands such as "sit", "stay", "come," “leave,” etc. If you need help delegating the commons, you can always refer to certified pet training channels on YouTube.

Teach names: Give toys names and ask your dog to fetch "teddy", "ball", or "dolly" and put them in a box.

Cat

Unlike dogs, cats have different ways to keep themselves occupied. However, if you wish to spend some quality and productive time with your cat, you can follow these guides.

Agility: Agility exercise can be very useful for cats. You can find many great videos on YouTube about Do-it-yourself agility exercises. You can find many timed obstacle courses online.

Fishing games: Turn some string into a kind of fishing rod. Fix a shuttlecock at the end of it and then swing it through the room. Your cat will love chasing it!

Clicker training: Training basic command to cats is very different from training basic commands to dogs. You can teach your cat a lot with clicker training like few tricks such as "come" and "high five."

Ball games: Cats love to chase or catch anything that moves. Throwing a bouncy ball against the wall will keep your cat busy for hours trying to catch it.

Torch game: Use a torch or laser-light to make a spot dart around the room and let your cat indulge her passion for ‘hunting’ it.

Small Animals

Small animals may include hamsters, mice, and rabbits. Here is how you can keep them occupied.

Obstacle courses: Build a small and safe obstacle course using a few small boxes made out of cardboard or paper of different heights with treats on top of them, so that your pet is kept busy finding the treats.

Hide-and-seek: This game works well if the incentive is to find food treats. Just spread a few healthy snacks around the room for your pet to find.

Hunt game: Tie a piece of apple or any other fruit and food that your pet fancies to a tight ribbon and pull it across the room to get your pet to ‘hunt’ the fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

During the time of the pandemic, pet owners are worried about their pet’s health.  Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions by the pet owners.

How can I keep my dog in a routine while I’m working from home?

With both pets and pet owners inside the house, it’s hard to find time to keep up with the usual schedule such as work, eat, or exercise. Pet’s need optimum physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy.

Although you’re home trying to maintain the regular schedule. Ensuring your dog has as normal a routine as possible is really important. When they get used to the unusual schedule during the lockdown, it can be hard for them to cope with a regular schedule post-lockdown.

It will also help to get your dog into a routine if you try to start and finish work at the same time each day and take your break/lunch at the same sort of time. When you’re home, try to spend more with your pet indulging in the activities you missed. You can indulge in different types of games or training sessions.

Can I walk my dog outside?

US Government has outlined that healthy people who don’t have symptoms can go outside and exercise within 2km of their homes, once they practice social distancing.

If you have a backyard or empty spaces around your house, you can always take your pet outside. This can be true for the suburbs; however, if you live in a dense city, you must practice precautions before going out.

Keep your dog on-lead when out walking and don’t be afraid to ask people not to pet your dog to ensure you stay at least two meters apart from other people at all times.

You should avoid parks or open spaces where your dog might wander off. Keep your dog on the lead. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog and wash your hands thoroughly when you are back inside.

Can I walk my dog off the lead?

It can be a bad idea to walk your dog off lead mainly because they can wander off. When the strict rules are placed on movement, it is important that you adhere to traveling long distances.

If you use a long lead, we’d suggest slowly introducing a short lead – this can be done by slowly limiting their distance from you, using positive rewards to let them know they are doing a good job!

Your daily walk is a good time to spend quality time with your dog. Wherever possible, try to give them your undivided attention.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on keeping your pets happy. To ensure you and your pet's safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.

Mentally and Physically Strong: Work Ethic Carries Military Veterinarian

Mentally and physically strong: Work ethic carries Army veterinarian

It isn’t unusual to hear about a random act of kindness. We have seen instances where a person went to a great length to save the life of another being.

A military veterinarian saved the lives of two dogs at New Hampshire following a usual event. Here is the story about the night she saved two lives.

Work ethic carries Army veterinarian

Danica Goodheart is a Military Veterinarian. She graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 and proceeded to work for 2 years as an ER veterinarian in a 24/7 Emergency and Specialty Hospital.

One cold night in 2016 at an emergency veterinary clinic in Concord, New Hampshire, she encountered two fatally wounded dogs. She had completed working the overnight shift when a middle-aged couple emerged from the winter cold carrying a bleeding pit bull. Moments later another man walked in clutching a wet and injured golden retriever.

The two dogs had grappled with another dog on a frozen lake. Police fired at the dogs in an attempt to break up the fight however ended up hitting a bullet to one of the dogs.

Goodheart continuously worked on the pit bull for two hours. She treated the bullet wound after the projectile had torn through its abdomen. She treated the pit bull for hypothermia and bite wounds.

After saving their lives, Goodheart approached elderly couples. They were ecstatic to learn that their pet would survive.

She later mentioned in the interview:

"I will never forget the look on their faces."

Goodheart’s co-worker Capt. Chelsi Blume mentioned:

"She will put 110 percent effort into whatever she's doing,"

A Fitness Freak

A fitness junkie since her teen years, she has continued to train and keep in peak shape. She spends up to 25 hours a week in the gym.

She was placed first in her first bodybuilding competition at the Jay Cutler Classic in Richmond, Virginia in August 2019. She won the overall figure championship for women.

She had only trained for four months as a bodybuilder. She hired strength coach Nic Wightman shortly after arriving at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

She has always been an athlete and a fitness freak. She even competed in Division I track at the University of New Hampshire.

In addition, she has built meal plans for fellow Soldiers and friends to help them get in shape.

She has been active in the military as a veterinarian since 2016. She is assigned to the 248th Medical Veterinarian Medical Detachment at Fort Bragg. Along with a seven-person staff, she is charged with the medical care of military working dogs deployed on the field to detect drugs and explosives.

She explains that it takes resiliency to meet the demands of the position, which requires veterinarians to constantly train and prepare for a variety of duties, including providing preventive medicine, outpatient care and disease control for pets at military installations.

Even before joining the military, she had understood how to work under duress, having already dealt with the pressures of working in the ER. There she tended to injured dogs and cats and even injured animals found by roadsides.

This April, Goodheart will take part in Defender 2020 a multi-national joint military exercise that will test the Army's ability to project its capabilities from the U.S. to Europe.

In her early life, she grew up in the sprawling 100-acre farm on the eastern shore of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.

"I was always around animals," Goodheart said. "My mother has a very strong passion for animals and instilled that in us girls."

While attending high school, Goodheart learned of the importance of military working dogs, who often must go into harm's way when searching for explosive devices. That helped spur her toward a career as an Army veterinary doctor.

Veterinary Careers in the Military

If you’re willing to become a Military Veterinarian you will uphold the highest form of service.

The military vets are not only assigned to treat military canines but also provide veterinary services to military family pets at bases all over the world.

The military vets may perform a wide range of medical services including pet surgery. Along with the military animals and family pets, veterinarians in the military also play a big role in supporting the public health mission for the community. They extensively work with physicians and preventive medicine experts to develop zoonotic disease prevention strategies, especially focusing on rabies on rabies-prone areas.

They also supervise and inspect food items supplied to military service members and their families. This includes traveling abroad to perform audits on food and beverage manufacturing facilities to make sure that they are following the proper food safety standards.

The US Military offer appealing options for veterinarians considering serving a full 20-year career. Through the Long-Term Health Education & Training program, the military will pay for veterinarians to go back to school for an MPH, Ph.D., or any number of clinical and research-oriented residency programs.

Requirements to Be a Military Vet

Veterinarians looking to enter the Military must meet the same standards and physical fitness requirements as all other soldiers.

They will be subjected to an evaluation of your medical history and an intense medical exam before even being accepted as the military vet.

They also have to take a physical fitness test 4x per year that measures their ability to meet certain minimum requirements for pushups, situps, and a two-mile run.

Finally, their height and weight are measured at each of these tests to ensure that they meet the standard. The requirements are different for men and women, and they also change based on your age.

You must understand the importance of veterinary before considering to be enlisted in the military as the veterinarian. The most important thing that Military veterinarians must comprehend is that they are not ultimately in control of their lives and careers during their time in service. The deployment and active service area are designated by seeing where you fit the best.

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.

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.

5 Safe Pets to Keep at Home

Who doesn’t love keeping a pet? The adoration for innocent animals excite every person to own and care for a pet.

Over 70% of U.S. Households own pets of various kinds. Some of the most popular pets people love to keep are freshwater fish, cats, dogs, and birds.

Some of the most common and safe pets to around house are;

Freshwater Fish

Over 12.5 million households in the U.S. own freshwater fish as a pet. Undoubtedly, fish is the most beloved pet in the entire country. The exotic marine species are most loved for their innocence, vibrant color, agility, and decoration. Although it can be crucial to maintaining hygiene of the aquarium to ensure the safety of fish, people do often manage time to take care of their pet.

Keeping freshwater fish has been linked to health benefits such as reducing stress and lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.

Rabbit

Rabbits are one of the most beloved pets around the world. Many people choose the furry animal for their playfulness, innocence, and temper. Rabbits are also one of the frequent pets who are abandoned in the animal shelter. You can help save this innocent animal from landing in the shelter throughout their life. They are also home and children friendly.

Dog

Dogs are undoubtedly the most beloved pet around the world. There are over 65 million dogs in the U.S. household. Although they are loved and cared for, dogs can often be a victim of the disease, illness, and other ailments. You should provide necessary vaccines, keep their kennel clean, and house-train them.

Cat

Cats are another most popular pet around the world. In the U.S. alone, Cats exceed the number of house pet in comparison to dogs, mostly because a cat owner is likely to keep multiple cats as pets. Unfortunately, cats also account for one of the frequent pets who are found in animal shelters.

Birds

Birds often make great pets however they require special attention from their owners. They are most beloved for their gentleness, friendliness, and look. Budgies, Cockatiels, Cockatoos, Parrotlets, and Hyacinth Macaws are a few of the most kept bird pets in the U.S.

National Love Your Pet Day

Let us celebrate the existence of companion animals in our life. February 20 is celebrated as the National Love Your Pet Day throughout the U.S. The day is set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets.  This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you have with your pets.

Either you’re a Dog mom, pet sitter, or a shelter volunteer — no matter what your interaction is with the animal, loving and caring for them is the best thing you can always do. And, it really doesn’t matter if your pet is a dog, cat, horse, birds, or even apes, you can always find the right opportunity to spend more time with them.

Consider enjoying this day with your pet by indulging in various fun activities.

Here are 5 things you can do with your pet

Take them for a long walk or hiking

Are you’re a dog owner, cat owner, or a horse owner? Consider taking your favorite companion for a long walk on this day. You can take them to their favorite place such as the park, by the river, and a beach.

If you’re an outdoor lover, you can consider taking them for the hiking to the woods, rocks, or even mountains. There can’t be anything better than enjoy outdoor and staying fit.

Shop for your Pet

Consider shopping for new toys, rugs, blanket, and shelter accessories for your pet. You can take them to pet stores to find their favorite new toy. Animals love choosing toys for themselves. Gifting them a new gift helps to combat animal depression.

Adopt a Pet or Visit Local Animal Shelter

About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year.

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), simply because the pet shelters lack enough room for new pets and lesser pets are ever adopted.

It actually costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed.

Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need forever homes too.

Give them a special treat

There is no special time to treat your favorite companion. Whether it’s a homemade dog biscuit or some catnip for your favorite kitty, consider giving your pet a treat in honor of National Love Your Pet Day.

Do care not to offer something that can prove to be health-hazardous like chocolates, cakes, seasoned meat etc.

Share moments in the Social Media

To encourage others to adopt new pets and to treat them right, you can share your own story or photos in the social media using the hashtag #NationalLoveYourPetDay. You can consider sharing when you and your pet met for the first time, like what were the initial challenges, and other unforgettable story or experience you share with your pet.

Showing the positive impact your dog has had on your life is a great way to show others that a dog might be right for them, too.

Do Rabbits make Good Pets?

Who doesn’t love the cute furry animal hopping around the house? Most people keep pet rabbits at home, however, many wonders if they make a good indoor pet or are they safer to keep around small children.

DID YOU KNOW? Male rabbits are called bucks; females are called does.

Rabbits have long been kept pets beginning from middle ages. They were kept as livestock in Ancient Rome. Cottontail Rabbits are the most common form of pet rabbits found in homes today.

Pros of owning a rabbit

  • They are intelligent animals
  • They are clean
  • They can be potty trained
  • They have a good lifespan

Things to remember while keeping a Rabbit

Expenses

Owning a pet rabbit is similar to owning a dog or a cat. It comes with added financial responsibility. You must provide housing, food, and proofing along with ongoing costs for supplements, litter, spay/neuter, and vet bills.

Housing

Rabbits are social animals. You should consider keeping them within your home in a form of puppy pen, bunny condo, or a large cage. Rabbits need social interaction, plenty of exercises, and a lot of enrichment activities, hence a homely environment is important to keep them indulge.

Bunny Proofing

Bunnies are quite curious and persistent creatures. You must consider bunny proofing your house to keep your things safe from being chewed. They will nibble on almost everything they may find, like you most important documents.

Enrichment

They tend to find their own fun activities if they get bored which can range from breaking things to chewing papers, rugs, and upholstery. You must consider providing them with entertainment to keep them indulged. Keep empty toilet paper rolls, old phone books, and other paper products into their shelter, so they can nibble on it.

Litter Training

The great thing about rabbits is that they can be potty trained. Most rabbits are potty trained when you bring them from a shelter, however, some of them forget their good habit once they move into their new home. The drastic change in the environment can be very stressful. You should be persistent and consider potty training them.

Nutrition

A rabbit’s nutritional needs vastly vary from that of a dog or a cat. Proper nutrition and in the correct amount is vital for a rabbit’s well-being. Fiber is the most staple diet of rabbits hence they must have access to unlimited grass hays at all times.

Pet rabbits need a high-fiber (18% to 22% DM), low-protein (12% to 16% DM) diet for maintenance. Timothy grass hay pellets should be fed for maintenance because they are lower in protein, calcium, and calories than alfalfa pellets.

Traveling

Traveling can be really stressful for rabbits. You should consider hiring a bunny-sitter while you’re away from home. They aren’t considered a flight-friendly animal, hence you can save yourself from the hassle by keeping them as a pet if you do not move around a lot.

Children and Rabbits

Rabbits should be supervised when small children are around. The DSPCA advises that because rabbits are physically delicate and require specialized veterinary care, they are not appropriate for families with young children