The seasons are changing, the temperature is spiking, and your pet can’t wait to get outside and soak it all in. Challenge yourself to join your pet in the great outdoors with Move More Month!
During the month of April, the American Heart Association challenges people to exercise more throughout the day. What better way to inspire motivation than by including your pet? Begin a morning or evening routine of walking your dog or playing with your cat. If you keep the time consistent from day to day, your pet will always remind you to get up and move.
Here are a few other ways to motivate yourself to exercise more:
➢ Open windows and let in that fresh spring breeze
➢ Prop a toy near your key or purse repository
➢ Hang a dog leash rack next to the front door
➢ Schedule pet playdates and exercise in your calendar
➢ Find an accountability partner by inviting friends and family to join
Include your pet in your New Year’s resolutions. Improve your pet’s life alongside your own and find some stress relief along the way. Once there’s a new established routine with your pet, keeping those resolutions will be a little easier!
• Add more playtime or walks to your daily routine. Use feathers on strings to keep your feline’s hunting instincts sharp, or take longer walks to give your dog more socialization time.
• Help your pet with her hygiene—trim her nails, brush her fur, and give her regular baths. Aside from keeping your pet healthy, this gives you a chance to spot any skin or fur issues early on.
• Strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend by showing him more affection. By petting him often and giving him more belly rubs, both of you will benefit emotionally.
• We always want our pets to stay safe, so make sure your pet has a collar and updated ID tags. Get her microchipped in case she wanders off, and avoid anything that might be toxic to her.
This year, think about that little (or big) friend you keep near and make his or her life a little better along with your own. Happy New Year!
February is the perfect month to show your pet a little extra love—not only is Valentine’s Day just around the corner, but it’s also Responsible Pet Owners Month. Take some time to review these great suggestions from the AVMA on how to be a responsible pet parent. Click here to read more.
❤️ Thinking of welcoming a new pet? Select a pet that fits your lifestyle.
❤️ Remember that your pet needs exercise and mental stimulation.
❤️ Be sure your pet receives preventative health care.
❤️ Clean up after your pet.
❤️ Check that your pet has proper, up-to-date identification.
❤️ Obey local ordinances that pertain to your pet.
❤️ Have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency.
Did you know there is a difference between a pet seizure and syncope? No pet owner wants to think of a pet suffering a collapse, but basic knowledge of the two terms will be helpful. Take a look at some information from PetMD—and consult your veterinarian if your pet has a seizure-like event.
A pet suffering a seizure may fall on its side, salivate excessively, become stiff, chomp its jaw, or make paddling motions; see PetMD for other symptoms. Before a seizure, a pet may appear worried or frightened; after a seizure, a pet may be confused and disoriented. Pet seizures have several potential causes, including blood and organ issues, genetic abnormalities, tumors, toxin exposure, and trauma.
If you suspect your pet is having a seizure, take the following steps recommended by PetMD: Stay away from your pet’s mouth and head, and don’t attempt to hold him down; he may unintentionally bite. If possible, remove any nearby objects that could injure your pet. Keep track of when and how long the seizure lasts so that you can relay this information to the veterinarian. Seek medical attention immediately if the seizures occur in clusters or if the seizure lasts more than a few minutes.
A veterinarian will likely conduct a physical exam and recommend lab work; he or she may prescribe medication to control the seizures. Remember not to abruptly discontinue any epilepsy medication.
Syncope is the clinical term for fainting. Typically, syncope causes only a temporary loss of consciousness, but it’s a good idea to consult your vet to determine any underlying conditions.
Syncope is commonly caused by a lack of nutrients and oxygen due to interrupted blood flow to the brain. Potential causes include excitement, emotional stress, low glucose, heart disease, or certain drugs. Again, a veterinarian’s diagnosis is important.
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.
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!