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Just like proper nutrition and regular exercise are part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your best furry friend, keeping up with your pet’s vaccination schedule is just as important in ensuring your dog or cat’s health and wellness. Why Vaccinate? Vaccines are vital in helping to prepare your pet’s immune system to fight […] The post The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet appeared first on...
Just like proper nutrition and regular exercise are part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your best furry friend, keeping up with your pet’s vaccination schedule is just as important in ensuring your dog or cat’s health and wellness.
Vaccines are vital in helping to prepare your pet’s immune system to fight off the disease-causing organisms when they come into contact with them. The way vaccines work is that they contain antigens that stimulate the body’s immune system. So, if your pet is ever exposed to the disease or virus, their body is able to easily recognize what it is and fight it off entirely, or at the very least, reduce its severity.
The 2 most important vaccinations for dogs are:
- Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP). This is commonly referred to as the “Distemper Shot” and is usually combined to protect against all four of these diseases.
- Rabies. Since the rabies virus is fatal to both humans and animals, it’s actually required by law in most states that all dogs get this vaccination.
Other vaccinations that you should consider for your dog are:
- Bordetella (aka Kennel Cough)
- Lyme Disease
- Canine Influenza
- Corona Virus
The 2 most important vaccinations for cats are:
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). This is commonly referred to the “Distemper Shot” and combines to protect against these three feline diseases.
- Rabies. Just like for dogs, most states require by law that cats are vaccinated against this virus.
Other vaccinations that you should consider for your cat are:
- Feline Leukemia (Felv)
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
Common Risks and Reactions
All medications, including vaccinations, come with some risks. However, if any reactions do occur, they are usually temporary and well worth keeping your best furry friend healthy for many years to come. Common symptoms caused by some of the vaccinations can include soreness at the injection site, fever, and mild allergic reactions.
When to Vaccinate
The best way to determine when to vaccinate your pet and which vaccines your pet needs is to talk to your veterinarian. Most vaccination schedules begin early in your pet’s life and continue on an annual basis. There are some versions of the rabies vaccine that are given every three years instead of yearly.
Apps Make it Easy
Vaccinating your pet is so important that smart phone technology now makes easy for you to keep track of your pet’s health and vaccinations. Several apps, including Cat Buddy, Dog Buddy, Vitus Vet and Pet Health Diary, are designed to help pet parents keep track of their best furry friend’s health and vaccine records. Download one of these apps today and you’ll never have to try to remember if your pet got a certain vaccine or if they’ve already gotten their annual booster shots.
Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s vaccines, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about possible risks and reactions. Knowing how to keep your loving best furry friend healthy and happy for years to come is well worth the time and effort.
With the growing variety of dog treats hitting the pet market every day, pet parents are turning to the internet in search of what snacks to give their furry best friends. Amidst the chicken, beef jerky, grain-free, and peanut butter apple flavors, you may have noticed a few that were hemp based. While hemp seed […] The post Hemp Based Dog Treats, Good or Bad? appeared first on...
With the growing variety of dog treats hitting the pet market every day, pet parents are turning to the internet in search of what snacks to give their furry best friends. Amidst the chicken, beef jerky, grain-free, and peanut butter apple flavors, you may have noticed a few that were hemp based.
While hemp seed oil is commonly found in many human recipes, it’s understandable that many pet parents may wonder if it’s okay to feed hemp to their dog.
Here are several benefits and interesting facts to consider when you think about getting hemp based dog treats for your dog:
- Hemp and marijuana come from different versions of the same plant. They are scientifically different and grown differently.
- While marijuana gives users the effects of feeling high due to its higher levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp contains higher levels of cannabinoids (CBD), which reduce the already significantly lower levels of THC in hemp to minimize any psychological reactions.
- CBD is under investigation for medicinal use in people and has been produced synthetically in laboratories in order to achieve the benefits while minimizing the psychoactive properties.
- Dogs’ bodies naturally produce something called endocannabinoids that are scientifically quite similar to the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. This means that dogs already have the receptors required to recognize hemp when it enters their system.
- Cannabinoids regulate the homeostasis of the entire body. When the feedback mechanisms stop working due to illness, an autoimmune disease, or epilepsy, the body often needs help from an outside source to replenish and regulate its physiological state. This is when pet parents can turn to CBD for a healthy, nontoxic way to assist their dog in the healing process while treating the disease and imbalance in the body.
- Hemp seed oil is considered a super oil for dogs because it is an incredible source of Omega 3 and Omega 6. The combination of these essential oils strengthens the immune system, promotes healthy skin and coat, boosts energy, and supports overall health, including the heart, brain, and joints. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
If after reading about all these benefits, you’re putting hemp based dog treats on your list of things to get at the pet store, or opening a new browser window to check out where you can get them, you’re probably not alone.
It is important to note that hemp seed oil cannot be cooked. It shouldn’t be given to dogs on a poultry based diet, and as with all natural products, there might be some side effects that have not yet been fully researched in animals.
Keeping your pup happy and healthy is every pet parent’s top priority. If hemp based dog treats can give your dog added relief for their stiff joints, or give their body the Cannabinoids boost it needs until they recover from an illness, there’s no question that you should consider this as an alternative to other possibly more harmful and toxic treatments.
As pet parents, we are our furry friends’ best advocates, so we need to decide what is best for our pups. A healthy dog is a happy dog, and at the end of the day, that’s all we really want for our loving companions.
Recognizing anxiety in dogs requires knowing your best furry friend’s body language and behavior patterns, and being able to understand when your pup is stressed. You can tell when a dog is relaxed by their actions and posture. For example, his eyes are in a soft gaze, his ears are held semi-erect and forward, and […] The post Recognizing Anxiety in Dogs appeared first on...
Recognizing anxiety in dogs requires knowing your best furry friend’s body language and behavior patterns, and being able to understand when your pup is stressed. You can tell when a dog is relaxed by their actions and posture. For example, his eyes are in a soft gaze, his ears are held semi-erect and forward, and his mouth is relaxed, almost as though he’s smiling. His posture will also be relaxed and open to the surrounding environment.
Anxiety can come on all of sudden, or it can happen gradually. The best way to avoid anxiety in dogs is to use preventative tools, such as obedience training, socialization, good nutrition, exercise, avoiding things that you know trigger anxiety in your dog, and reading your dog’s body language so that you can step in before your pup’s anxiety reaches unmanageable levels.
How do you know when that happens?
Here are the top 5 things to look for in an anxious dog:
- Eyes. The whites of the eyes may be more pronounced. There may be a persistent glare or stare as the dog scans their environment. our pup might even avoid eye contact altogether both with humans and other animals.
- Ears. They might be more erect or lying flat and back against the head. It’s harder to tell with dogs that have floppy ears, but you can still see it if you look at the movement at the base of the ear.
- Mouth. The mouth will be closed tightly, and lips might be pulled back like he’s prepared to snarl, growl or even snap or bite. Many dogs will vocalize when they are anxious with a whine, bark, growl or whimper.
- Body. Some dogs will stand erect, raise one paw, or attempt to move away from whatever is scaring them. Dogs also tend to turn their head or whole body away, or even cower in a slinking movement. Excessive drooling, shedding, trembling and sweaty paws also indicate a dog in distress.
- Behavior. Dogs that are anxious will alter their activity levels to either being hyperactive and more on edge, or some may freeze and and refuse to move. A change in eating and drinking habits, being more clingy, excessive licking, scratching, jumping, humping, urinating or defecating in the house after having been housebroken, or any sort of drastic change in behavior is usually a sign that your dog is stressed or anxious.
As pet parents, we want nothing more than for our dogs to be happy. So, if your dog is acting anxious, it’s important to understand the three types of anxiety most common to your best furry friend.
- Fear Anxiety. Loud noises, strange people, animals and places, and visual stimuli such as hats and brooms can cause an unsuspecting pup to become anxious. These fears might seem like no big deal to humans, but for dogs, they cause a lot of anxiety.
- Separation Anxiety. It’s estimated that about 14% of dogs are unable to cope or find comfort when they are left alone or separated from family members. This anxiety usually manifests in unwanted behaviors such as urinating or defecating in the house, destroying furniture or property, and barking.
- Age-Related Anxiety. This type of anxiety mostly affects senior dogs with Cognitive Dysfunction Symptom (CDS) which is a condition in which memory, learning, perception and awareness begin declining, kind of like with Alzheimer’s in humans.
Whatever the underlying cause for your dog’s distress, the most important thing to do is alleviate it as quickly as possible. The longer a dog remains anxious, the more likely they are to be affected by their unstable state of mind in the long term.
Once you know that your dog suffers from anxiety, it’s important to seek help and narrow down your options to the one that you think will be most beneficial to your furry best friend.
The first option is training and counterconditioning. In counterconditioning, the dog is trained to react in a more positive manner to whatever they are feeling anxious about. So, instead of barking or cowering from something, the pup is trained to just sit down and wait for further instruction.
Another form of training is called desensitization, which relies on gradually introducing the anxiety causing thing to the dog in small doses and at a low intensity. With repetitive exposure and rewarding positive behavior, your dog will soon learn to cope with the object of his or her anxiety in a more appropriate way.
The second option is medication and/or natural remedies. In some cases, when dogs are dealing with an extreme form of anxiety, your veterinarian might suggest using medication such as antidepressants, benzodiazepine for predictable stressors such as thunderstorms or car rides, and selegiline for dogs that suffer from CDS. Natural remedies like pheromones and aromatherapy are also great at helping dogs to relieve anxiety, and can be used on their own or in addition to any of the above training methods or medications.
The most important thing to remember is that an anxious dog is not a happy dog. So take action as quickly as possible. With the right strategy, pet parents can help their best furry friends overcome anxiety, and prevent dangerous and/or damaging behaviors.
Your pup is always there for you. If your dog has anxiety, it’s your turn to be there for him.
For many, Fall is a favorite time of year. It’s when the kids go back to school, the sweaters come out of the closet, and a warm glow re-emerges in the fireplace on cool evenings. It’s also an exciting time for your best furry friends as they go jumping in piles of leaves, enjoy longer […] The post Top 10 Fall Pet Travel Tips appeared first on...
For many, Fall is a favorite time of year. It’s when the kids go back to school, the sweaters come out of the closet, and a warm glow re-emerges in the fireplace on cool evenings. It’s also an exciting time for your best furry friends as they go jumping in piles of leaves, enjoy longer walks in the colder temperatures, and take naps in the lazy Autumn afternoons before the kids get home from school and the chaos of homework, dinner and bedtime ensues. But, Fall is also a time of special holidays, like Halloween and Thanksgiving, when families like to travel to be closer to relatives or to just get away for a weekend of hiking to enjoy the Fall colors.
Your furry family member would love to join you in all of these exciting activities, but traveling with a pet can be challenging if you don’t know the best ways to do it.
Here are the top 10 fall pet travel tips:
- Identification. There is no worse feeling in the world than knowing that your pet is out there somewhere, lost without you. That’s why your pet should always have an identification tag on his collar and a microchip with your information on it. So, if for some reason you and your furry friend are ever separated, anyone who finds your pet will be able to easily contact you and reunite you two as soon as possible.
- Training. Most trips are planned well in advance, at least several weeks prior. That gives pet parents plenty of time to train their pet for anything they should anticipate. For example, if you want to take your dog on a long road trip, start taking your pup on short car rides to the drive thru or to the park. Then make the trips longer and longer, until you are sure that your pet can handle any length of time in the car. This will help your pet associate the car with a positive experience, and diminish any anxiety or fear. The same goes for cats and any other animals that might need to be transported in a carrier. Bring it out sooner rather than later, and give it a positive association by offering food and water in the carrier, and even treats and toys. That way, when it’s time to go inside, you won’t have to fight your furry friend to go in, they’ll be happy to do it all on their own.
- Security. While most modes of transportation are considered relatively safe, the best way to ensure your pet’s safety is to secure them for the duration of the trip. Whether it’s a carrier, a harness, a booster seat, or a seat belt, make sure that your furry friend is tucked in or buckled in, just like you would any person. And of course, don’t forget the leashes, collars, harnesses, and anything else you may need to safely take your pet outside without worrying about him escaping or running away.
- Research. It’s always important to know as much as you can about where you’re going, where you might be stopping and what to expect while you’re there. Research everything from the mode of transportation, to the best way of securing your pet, to how to keep your pet safe and ensure your furry friend’s well being once you are there. If your trip involves stops along the way, plan ahead by knowing where the rest stops are, which motels on your route allow pets, and if there are any checkpoints you need to be aware of. Being prepared is always important, but when traveling with your pet, it’s vital to ensure a safe and happy experience for all.
- Anxiety. Some pet parents consider calming options for their pet when going for long trips, especially on an airplane. While this may work for some furry friends, be sure to check with your veterinarian on dosing, possible reactions and any safety precautions before giving your pet any new medications.
- First Aid. Just like humans, pets can get hurt or injured, so it’s always important to be prepared with a pet first aid kit that should include things like gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, cotton balls or swabs, ice pack, blanket, a rectal thermometer, non-latex disposable gloves, and any other supplies or medications your pet might need in case of an injury or allergic reaction. Also, be sure that your pet is up to date on all shots, and any monthly medications, like heartworm and flea/tick medicine.
- Food and Water. Depending on your mode of transportation and final destination, it may be a while before you reach a place with safe drinking water and food for you pet. Always take plenty of your furry baby’s food with you along with several bottles of clean drinking water. Without proper nutrition and hydration, your pet may become lethargic, sick, and dehydrated, so it’s always best to be prepared.
- Toys. Bringing along a few of your pet’s favorite toys is also a great way to keep him occupied and calm for extended periods of time. Depending on the type of pet your have, you might consider bringing a tennis ball for short bursts of exercise, a chew toy to keep him busy in the car or the crate, and even their favorite stuffed animal to cuddle up with for a nice nap. Toys are your fur babies familiar things that will provide activity and comfort while experiencing new places and things.
- Vigilance. Traveling can be exhausting, especially when you have pets and kids in tow. Still, never let your guard down. Don’t be too lazy to put your cat back in the crate instead of letting it roam loose in the car, as it can eventually end up in your feet while you’re driving. And if you’re driving with your dog, and want to open the windows, be sure your pup is securely fastened or in a crate to ensure that he doesn’t bolt out the window to chase a squirrel or an interesting scent. Even if the window is only half open, most dogs can squeeze through openings that many would not think twice about. A good rule of thumb is that if your fur baby can stick his head out, he can get his body out too.
- Have Fun. After all that’s said and done, and everything on your list is checked off, don’t forget to have fun! Isn’t that what trips are all about? Visit a local park, go for a hike, check out a nearby lake, or just explore your new neighborhood. You’re on vacation with your best furry friend, so make the most of it, take lots of pictures and post them on all your social media sites to make your friends and family jealous.
Traveling with your pet can be a fun and wonderful bonding experience as long as it’s done safely for both you and your fur baby. In addition to the above guidelines, make sure to brainstorm and prepare anything else that you think you might need for a safe and successful journey with your pet. After all, no one knows your best furry friend better than you do.
For centuries, dogs, cats and other pets have shouldered the responsibility of overseeing humans and their needs, without asking for anything in return except for love. In honor of National Dog Week we’re looking into the endless benefits of having a pet, and there really are so many that we’ve decided to narrow it down […] The post Top Benefits of Having a Pet appeared first on...
For centuries, dogs, cats and other pets have shouldered the responsibility of overseeing humans and their needs, without asking for anything in return except for love. In honor of National Dog Week we’re looking into the endless benefits of having a pet, and there really are so many that we’ve decided to narrow it down to just ten.
So, here are the top 10 benefits of having a pet:
Decrease Stress. Studies have shown that performing a stressful task while having your pet with you causes people to experience less stress than if they were alone or had another person or family member present with them. Stroking a cat, watching fish swim, or just playing with your dog can melt worries away, even if for a moment. However, this allows you to come back with a fresh perspective and a higher tolerance for the stress-inducing activity, all while having your pet by your side.
Improve Overall Health. Having a pet can actually lower your blood pressure, your cholesterol and even decrease your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. It’s not surprising that pets can often be the best medicine, especially when you consider the fact that they naturally help people reduce their stress levels. This in turn causes blood pressure to go down which helps prevent other health issues. Pets also have a keen sense of smell, so they can actually help people detect high blood sugars and even cancer, sooner than most tests can, giving that person a higher chance of recovery and improving their survival odds.
Ease Pain. Many people suffer from chronic painful conditions, such as migraines, arthritis or even fibromyalgia. Having a pet around can be like taking a dose of Valium. When the person afflicted with the condition is more relaxed and even slightly distracted, their pain can lessen, putting them in a better mood and giving them a more fulfilling life. Studies have even shown that people with pets who are recovering from a short term painful condition, such as surgery, may require less pain medicine than those without pets.
Improve Mood. When you have a pet at home, every time you walk through the front door, they are there to greet you like you’re the most important person in the world, because to them, you are. And if you’re in a bad mood, they don’t care if you talk their ear off telling them every little detail of what happened, or if you don’t say a single word and just let them sit beside you on the couch in solidarity. Pets are there for you. No explanations or excuses needed. Even when most people say they want to be alone, they will rarely choose to isolate themselves from their pet, which gives them comfort in knowing that while they are alone, they are not completely on their own.
Help Socialize. The pet parent community is a very friendly one, so if you want to make friends, just take your dog for a walk in the park and watch how other pet parent come up to talk to you about your pup. There are also Meetup groups for cats, dogs, and other pet parents, which can help you make new and lasting friends, as well as, set up play dates for your fur babies.
Prevent Allergies. Growing up with pets can help kids prevent allergies and improve immunity. Studies have shown that children that grow up on farms or with furry friends in the home are much less likely to develop allergies, and are even sick less frequently than kids without pets or animals at home. Unfortunately, these benefits are not pertinent to adults, so getting a pet as an adult will not help to prevent or combat your allergies or improve your immunity.
Improves Child Development. The benefits of growing up with a pet for children are numerous, but it’s especially helpful for their emotional development. Kids who are attached to dogs or cats learn to express themselves in more ways and relate better, not only to other animals, but to other kids and adults, too. Pets are also hugely important for kids with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as it gives them both comfort to hold and pet their furry friend, and a sense of focused responsibility when they care for their animal in predictable routines.
Keep You Fit. All dogs, regardless of their size or breed, need daily exercise, and the best part is that they love going out for walks. So, if your doctor told you to add a daily exercise regimen to your schedule, or if you just want to feel better, have more energy and lose a few extra pounds, get yourself a cute furry friend who will practically drag you out the door every morning. And on those days when you don’t feel like it, how can you say no to that cute face?
Make You Feel Safe. People who live alone often feel uncomfortable or even unsafe being home alone. Having a cat or dog with you there can provide a sense of comfort and a degree of safety. Most burglars will avoid homes with dogs because of all the noise they make and the fear of getting bitten.
Never Lonely. Having a best furry friend at home decreases feelings of loneliness. Pets are often the first and last thing we think about. They are our best friends, who are there for us when others can’t or don’t want to be. They don’t shy away from awkward moments or get mad at us when we come home late. Pets simply love us, flaws and all, unlike any person ever could.
It’s no secret that having a pet brings great joy and comfort to every pet parent and family. The unconditional love, support and companionship that furry friends offer their loved ones is unlike anything any human can provide another human. So, do something special for your pet this week in honor of National Dog Week, like take them for an extra long walk, buy them a favorite treat, or just give them a little extra attention.
If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting your best furry friend from a local shelter or humane society. It could improve your health, your mood, and even work wonders on your social life. The best part is you’ll always have someone to go home to that will love you, always and forever.
We all love our pets and we always want them to have the best health and wellness care available. That’s why it’s important for pet parents to consider all of their options when it comes to pet health insurance. There are so many things to think about when making this investment that even Time magazine […] The post A Guide to Buying Pet Insurance: 8 Things to Consider appeared first on...
We all love our pets and we always want them to have the best health and wellness care available. That’s why it’s important for pet parents to consider all of their options when it comes to pet health insurance. There are so many things to think about when making this investment that even Time magazine devoted an article to this topic in their Money section.
So, we decided to do our own research, and after reviewing several articles on this subject, including the popular PetMD website, we’ve combined dozens of key points and important ideas into a comprehensive and easy to understand guide for all pet parents, and we’re calling it the Top Eight E’s.
- Evaluation: All pet insurance companies will ask that you and your vet disclose any pre-existing conditions upon choosing a plan, and there will be 15 – 30 day waiting period before the policy takes into effect. During this time, if your pet is found or evaluated to have any condition, illness, or injury, the pet insurance company will note it as a pre-existing condition and it will not be covered, now or in the future.
- Expectations: When purchasing pet insurance, it’s important to keep our expectations in check. After all, the pet health care industry is a business, like any other, and despite their best efforts to care for your pet, they are here to make a profit. Therefore, it’s important to research all the applicable terms, conditions, contracts, etc…before signing on the dotted line.
- Exclusions: Most pet insurance companies have several exclusions, or conditions that they will not cover, such as pre-existing, hereditary, bilateral, etc… Not only is it important to know what each pet insurance company will cover, but as you live and enjoy life with your pet, you may come to learn that knowing what they don’t cover will save you a lot of time, money and energy, as well.
- Expenses: Pet insurance companies charge a monthly premium. However, some also have additional fees, charges, co-pays, etc… It’s also important to consider that you should not be choosing your provider or your plan solely based on the monetary cost. Choosing the least expensive provider and/or plan may not give you the desired coverage you seek for your furry best friend.
- Experience: Pet insurance companies have only been around for the last few decades and are considered a relative newcomer to the pet industry. Still, some pet insurance providers will have more experience in dealing with certain conditions, breeds, veterinary specialists, etc.. If your pet requires specialized care, it may be vital for you to choose a pet insurance provider that will compliment your and your pet’s needs.
- Essentials: Pet insurance companies will often have certain requirements, either of you, the pet parent, or of the veterinarian, or possibly both, in order to submit a claim or have the claim be processed. It’s important to know and understand what these essential processes are in order to ensure a speedy and smooth transaction.
- Exigent Circumstances: Some pet insurance companies have separate plans for accidental and/or emergency care. It’s important to have a full understanding of how and if accidental and emergency care is covered in your plan so that you don’t have to guess or stress about it should an unforeseeable tragic event occur.
- Everyday: Our hope is that every pet maintains a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but even healthy pets require what the pet industry refers to as wellness checks, which include the basic annual exam. This is covered by something called the Wellness Plan, and while some pet insurance companies offer this as an add-on plan, others do not cover these expenses.
The Top Eight E’s are meant to act as an objective guide to help pet parents choose the pet insurance provider and plan that is right for you and your pet. For more information, or to compare plans, please click here.
The post A Guide to Buying Pet Insurance: 8 Things to Consider appeared first on epetsure.
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