You Know You’re an Animal Lover If…

animal lover marcBy Linda Cole

Are you more apt to notice a dog or cat walking along the street, but totally miss seeing a human standing on the sidewalk? Do you get all misty eyed as a brave firefighter scrambles down a tree clutching a frightened kitty close to his chest, or do you even see the firefighter because your focus is on the meowing cat? Does finding a human hair in your food gross you out, but you have no problem finding a dog or cat hair?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re a bona fide animal lover! Read on for more humorous examples of “You know you’re an animal lover if…”

*Your pet’s Facebook page has way more “friends” than your own page.

*You have so many pictures of your pet on your phone that photos of your human family members are relegated to a miscellaneous file. More embarrassing is discovering you don’t have a single photo of your human family on your phone.

*You wear animal themed jewelry, slippers or T-Shirts, and canine or feline paintings and knick-knacks are proudly displayed around the house. Your favorite coffee cup is an animal themed “treasure” you picked up while on vacation – with matching teapot.

*Vacations are planned around pet-friendly hotels, campsites or parks.

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Ear Infections in Dogs

dog ears tanakawhoBy Laurie Darroch

Your dog can’t tell you if their ears are hurting or bothering them, so it’s important to learn how to spot the symptoms and signs of any possible ear irritation or infection. Visual changes in the ears and/or your dog’s behavior will tell you that there may be a problem you need to treat.

A dog’s ear is different in formation than a human ear. We have tubes that are situated and drain out horizontally. A dog has an ear canal that is more vertical than ours. Things get trapped in their ears. Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or a yeast problem. Extra ear hair, excess wax, pests such as ear mites, foreign matter such as dirt that gets imbedded in their ear and even allergies are some things that can irritate a dog’s ears.

It’s a good idea to check your dog’s ears periodically when grooming or bathing them, or after a play session outdoors. Also, if you have small children who play with the dog, kids are curious and sometimes stick things where they don’t belong, which might include your dog’s ears.

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Five Dog Park Risks You Need to Consider

dog park donBy Linda Cole

Dog parks are secure areas where your pet can race around with his friends and play off leash. It’s a great way for your dog to interact with other canines in a social environment. However, dog parks also come with some risks that could affect your pet’s health and behavior.

Hyperthermia/Hypothermia

When a dog is having fun at the dog park, he may not stop when he gets overheated. Hot, humid days can zap the energy from humans and animals in the same way. Add in a heat index that makes it feel even hotter, and a warm dog can have a hard time trying to cool down. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water and shade, and watch for signs of heatstroke.

Depending on age, health and whether he’s wet or dry, a dog can suffer from hypothermia on colder days even when the temperature is above freezing. Hypothermia can set in at temperatures as high as 50 degrees. There’s a risk for humans and animals whenever the body loses more heat than it generates. If your dog’s core body temperature falls below 90 degrees, he’s at risk of developing mild to severe hypothermia. Dogs don’t worry about how hot or cold it is when they are playing and having fun. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know the symptoms of hypothermia.

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Can “Indoor Only” Cats Be Content?

indoor mickeyBy Julia Williams

It’s been 10 years, but I still remember the look a friend gave me after I expressed dismay that her “poor cats” were never allowed to go outside. At the time, all of my cats, past and present, had the freedom to go out as much as they wanted. I actually thought it was a bit unkind that my friend was depriving her cats of the outdoors, and when I said her cats could never be happy living indoors, that’s when I got “the look.” She vehemently disagreed, and it was clear we’d never see eye to eye.

A lot has changed since then. For starters, I now know that I was dead wrong about indoor-only cats not being happy. Secondly, I’ve changed my practice of allowing my cats unlimited access to the outdoors. It’s a personal decision we all have to make for our own cats. I just came to the conclusion that for me, the risks of allowing them outdoors outweighed the benefits. It’s been proven that indoor cats live longer and healthier lives, and I wanted my feline friends to be with me for as long as possible. However, I worried about their emotional state because I still struggled with the idea that indoor cats could be happy.

What I have found, after years of research and personal experience, is that some indoor cats will be just as happy as they could by having access to the outdoors, and some will not. There is no one size fits all answer; it really depends on several factors.

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How Do Dogs Sense Approaching Storms?

dog storms ttarasiukBy Langley Cornwell

Where I live, we have short thunderstorms almost every afternoon in the summer. I used to like these storms because they cooled things down a bit, but one of our dogs has recently become a master weatherman, sensing approaching storms long before we see evidence. Unfortunately for him, he dislikes the thunder. And because he senses its approach, his misery is long-lasting. For his sake, I wish he wasn’t so keen to oncoming inclement weather. I also began to wonder, how in the world does he know in advance when a storm is rolling in anyway?

We provide our dogs with love, companionship and shelter, and feed them healthy food like CANIDAE. We spend lots of time with them but even so, sometimes dogs do things that make us wonder. Some dogs dig the carpet before lying down, some herd children, and some even terrorize mailmen. But dogs also do amazing things like saving their humans from fires, protecting their homes and predicting the weather.

While you can’t ask your dog how bad a storm is going to be, if you get to know your pup you will be able to tell when a storm is coming, just by observing their behavior. Dogs know when it’s time to batten down the hatches, and will often herd the family to where they can keep an eye on you while they pace agitatedly. How do dogs know a storm is approaching long before the clouds appear, the rain falls and the thunder rolls?

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8 Dogs That Played a Role in World History

dogs history jasonBy Linda Cole

The space race between the United States and Russia began in the early 1960s when President Kennedy issued a challenge to NASA to put a man on the moon by 1969. Russia was first to put a living being into space when they launched a stray terrier named Laika. Sadly, she didn’t survive long enough to reach orbit, but it had a profound effect on the world and gave us the drive to put a man on the moon. Laika wasn’t the only dog that played a role in world history, though. Here are 8 more.

Belka and Strelka

When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 5 in 1960, two mixed breed stray canines from Moscow were the first dogs to go into orbit and return alive. The furry cosmonauts’ 24 hour orbital flight gave the Soviets the confidence to continue their dream of putting a man into space. The dogs became national heroes and were honored worldwide for their contribution to the space race. Shortly after Strelka returned from space, she gave birth to six puppies. Nikita Khrushchev gifted one of the pups, Pushinka, to President Kennedy and his family.

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