Undoubtedly, your pet has come up with all kinds of ways to “tell” you when he’s hungry or needs attention—but how does he express pain? September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to review some of the signs that your pet may be in pain. Remember to spread the knowledge, and to always consult your veterinarian if you notice these symptoms. He or she can recommend the best treatment options.
The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has compiled a list of common signs that your pet may be in pain. We’ve listed a few below. View the full list here.
Some common signs of pain in dogs:
- Decreased social interaction
- Howling or growling
- Refusal to move
- Decreased appetite
Some common signs of pain in cats:
- Reduced activity
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of agility
- Stops grooming
- Weight loss
Are you caught up in the chaos of buying school supplies, planning new schedules, and tackling to-do lists? Keep in mind that this time of year can be a big change for your pet too. Keep your pet safe and healthy during back-to-school time with these suggestions from the ASPCA and PetMD.
1. Keep backpacks out of pets’ reach
If possible, designate an area for children to place their backpacks that is out of the way of pets. Keep school supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, markers, and scissors away from those curious four-legged furballs. Other potential hazards include batteries and medications.
2. Likewise, stash those lunch bags
Remember to keep non-human food away from pets. Don’t let your pet sniff his way into a lunchbox containing grapes, raisins, chocolate, or gum (click here for the ASPCA’s full list of people-only food).
3. Gradually increase your separation time
Slowly let your pet acclimate to more “alone” time, rather than suddenly changing his schedule and leaving him without his buddies for an entire school day. Keep your departure and return low-key, and teach children to do the same. If you remain calm, there’s a better chance your pet will too.
4. Reduce stress and boredom by providing mental stimulation
Leave a safe, sturdy puzzle toy with your dog to keep his mind active. Toys that allow your pet to chew and lick can provide stress relief.
5. Don’t neglect your pet when you are home
Fit in aerobic exercise for your dog or play with your cat each day, preferably before you leave. It’s a great time for you to bond together; plus, if he’s tired, it can help him relax while you’re away. If mornings are too hectic, make sure your pet has some evening exercise to relieve pent-up energy.
6. Consult a veterinarian if needed
If your pet’s separation anxiety is severe, don’t punish your pet. Talk to your veterinarian to determine possible underlying causes and treatment options.
Can you guess the busiest day of the year for many animal shelters in the United States? According to the American Humane Association, it is July 5th—that’s right; the day after the Fourth of July. This year, make a “pledge” that your pet will not be among the many that flee their homes in a panic after unsettling firework celebrations begin. Here are just a few tips, including some from the AVMA and the Humane Society, to keep your pet safe this Independence Day.
1. Make sure that your pet has a properly fitting collar with an attached ID tag and that all the information is up to date; likewise, check that all microchip information is current.
2. Take a picture of your pet so that you have a current photo just in case.
3. Earlier in the day, take your dog for a walk or run (but be vigilant about the summer’s heat and don’t overdo it). Exercise will help calm him and tire him out before the fireworks start.
4. Don’t take your pet to firework festivities or set off fireworks around your pet. Keep your pet indoors where he is safe; if possible, bring your outdoor pet indoors.
5. Keep exterior doors, pet doors, and windows shut to prevent a terrified pet from escaping outdoors and running away from the fireworks.
6. Lower blinds and cover windows so the bright lights of the fireworks don’t distress your pet.
7. Make sure your pet has a safe place in an interior room where he can retreat. Your pet may prefer a small, enclosed area to “hide” when he’s scared.
8. Place your pet’s favorite toys or familiar blankets nearby for comfort.
9. Turn on a calming television show, soothing music, or even a fan to help block out some of the firework noise.
10. Provide your dog with a safe chew toy to distract him and ease anxiety (and make sure cords are out of the way so they don’t become chew toys).
It’s summer, and you and your pet have been having all kinds of fun, so maybe rules are lax around the house. If your pet has claimed a spot beside you on the couch, you might have decided to just go with it. At least you can still protect your sofa with the Mason Faux Suede Pet Cover with Bolster!
Instead of covering your entire sofa, this protector covers only a portion of it, providing your pet with his own dedicated snuggle space beside you. Made from polyester microfiber, this cover has a double diamond-quilted seat that is soil-, snag-, and water-resistant. And your pet will love the comfy bolster around the sides; he can rest his head on top or cuddle up next to it. The bolster also prevents pet hair from finding its way into the nooks and crannies of your sofa—though no promises for the rest of the house!
This special furniture cover is available in two sizes and several solid colors. It can also be monogrammed for a pet-perfect touch. The zippered cover is machine washable, so you can freshen it up whenever you like.
The Mason Furniture Cover with Bolster is a Touch of Class® exclusive design, so you won’t find it anywhere else. Click here to view measurement information and to order this cover.
Can you have both pets and high-quality area rugs? Of course! From Mohawk, a leader in the flooring industry worldwide, the Sarasota Area Rugs provide tasteful tropical embellishment, durability, comfort underfoot, and superior stain resistance.
Made in the USA, these rugs are a wonderful decorating solution for households with children and pets. Durable DuPont™ Sorona® fibers are spun into SmartStrand® fibers, which are super-soft. You’ll fret less over messes, because the built-in lifetime stain and soil resistance never wears or washes off. These charming, machine-woven rugs also resist crushing and matting.
The Espresso coloration has a basket weave design, while the Burgundy color has a striated field.
Click here to view and purchase the pet-friendly Sarasota Rugs.
These cute felines won’t do any digging in your flower beds! They will, however, look adorable perched on your porch or nestled into your landscaping. These outdoor cat sculptures will delight feline fanatics with their lighthearted depictions, from the fur-like details to the expressive eyes.
Click here to view the outdoor cat sculptures shown below.
The On the Ready Cat Sculpture features an alert kitty with a curled tail, smoky taupe fur, and aqua eyes.
The Kisses of Love Cat Sculpture is a tender yet playful depiction of an orange mother cat with her two gray kittens.
The bird feeder shown below captures a characteristic feline trait: Natural Curiosity! The wide-eyed cat seems perplexed by the snail’s appearance, perhaps hoping a bird would stop by instead.
In the last sculpture, two Playful Friends, a cat and a turtle, seem to have had a little too much fun. The turtle is lying on his shell, exposing his belly, which acts as a solar light.
A special-needs pet is one with a physical disability, a chronic injury, or emotional/behavioral issues. Today, we celebrate special-needs pets and encourage animal lovers with plenty of compassion, time, and energy to consider adopting one. Here are a few points to ponder from Vetstreet:
1. First, research.
If there’s a special-needs pet that has captured your heart, be sure to research its issues thoroughly beforehand so you understand the care that is required. Talk to veterinarians, specialists, and owners of similar special-needs pets so that you can make the best choice for both of you, instead of a spur-of-the-moment decision.
2. Consider the financial commitment.
Be sure that you have the financial resources to properly care for a special-needs pet. Again, research the expenses associated with your prospective pet’s condition, including food, grooming, medical care, and special equipment.
3. Remember the time and energy involved.
You might not be bringing home a frisky puppy that’s going to romp all over the house, but a special-needs pet still requires your time and energy. Be sure that you have the patience to handle its physical limitations or extra needs, and that everyone in your family does as well.
4. Make sure you’re up to it, physically.
Not all special-needs pets are physically demanding, but be sure you have the strength and capability to care for one that is.
As long as you’re fully prepared to welcome a special-needs pet into your home and to accept the responsibilities involved, you can enjoy a loving, caring relationship with your new furry friend!