We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, warn ASPCA experts.
“Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat,” says Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA Vice President of Veterinary Outreach, “and heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.”
When you look at what cats do in the wild, it is obvious why they need to play. They sleep as much as 16 hours per day and when they’re awake, they need the exercise that play provides.
Whether you’ve recently adopted a pet or you’re considering it, one of the most important health decisions you’ll make is to spay or neuter your cat or dog.
There are many medical and behavioral benefits to spaying and neutering your pets.
Each year our poison control experts see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate or lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. Valentine’s Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans—as long as dangerous items are kept out of paws’ reach!
Brrrr…it’s cold outside!
Following these guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.
‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement. Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.
Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible.
Attention, companion animal caretakers!
The ASPCA would like to point out these common–sense cautions that’ll help keep your pets safe and stress-free this time of year. If you do suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Planning is the most effective way to mitigate disaster. If you own pets, you realize that they are family and thus deserve some focus during your family disaster planning. Pets, just like their owners, require their own supplies that should be placed in a disaster kit. Planning ahead and designating evacuation routes with alternative shelter information for your family and pets reduces anxiety from a disaster event.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) experts field tens of thousands of calls each year involving animal companions who’ve had potentially hazardous contact with insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants.
If you see your cat scratching often and persistently, it’s time for a spot check. Invest in a fine tooth comb and run it through your cat’s fur, especially around the neck and at the base of the tail. If you see small, fast-moving brown shapes about the size of a pinhead in her fur, your cat has fleas. Also check for black spots in between the teeth of the comb. The black spots are called “flea dirt”–dried blood excreted by fleas. And if you see tiny white grains, these may be flea eggs.
Three pairs of legs make for excellent leaping capabilities (up to two feet), and a laterally flattened body allows for quick movement in a dog’s fur. With a complete life cycle ranging anywhere from 16 days to 21 months, depending on environmental conditions, fleas are most commonly found on a dog’s abdomen, the base of the tail and the head. With heavy infestations, however, fleas can thrive anywhere on the body. They feed once every day or two, and generally remain on their host during the interim.
Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados… these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions.
So you’ve taken the plunge and adopted a dog of your own. Congratulations! But what do you do now?
The key to helping your new dog make a successful adjustment to your home is being prepared and being patient.
The first few hours after bringing your cat home can really affect how well he accepts his new life. First and foremost, be prepared to be patient and never attempt to rush your cat into doing things he may not be ready for.
Territory is vital to cats, so set aside a dedicated, secure room for him to first be released into. This area should include:
• A few toys and space to play
• An area for food and water
• At least one litter box placed as far away as possible from his food and water and in a private location, if possible
• A suitable place to sleep or, ideally, a choice of them
• A scratching post or pad
• Somewhere to hide – an upturned cardboard box with a hole in the side, or a space under a bed, etc…
• Somewhere to observe – cats feel more relaxed if they can look out from a height, so make use of shelves or a chest of drawers
The First Steps
How your cat reacts to being in a strange environment among strange people will depend entirely on his character. The following is a guide to introducing your cat to his new home and family. Take one step at a time and be patient. Only you can judge whether your cat is comfortable enough to move onto the next stage.
When you arrive home, leave your cat alone to explore his room for an hour or so before going in. When you do go in to see him, get down to his level, put out your hand and call his name. Let him come to you.
If your cat chooses to hide, just sit with him and talk gently in low tones. Do not force him to come out. Give him plenty of time to adjust and continue
to visit him so he can get used to your presence. As long as he is eating and using the litter box there is no cause for alarm. If your cat is very timid he may not want to come out to eat. In this case, try moving the food bowl closer to his hiding place and leaving the room.
You may want to try offering a treat or using a toy to tempt your cat from his hiding place. Play is a good bonding tool because it is less intimidating than physical contact, relieves stress, and provides an outlet for pent-up energy. You may find it easier to encourage play at dawn and dusk when cats are naturally more active.
The process is slightly different with a kitten. It is best not to leave him alone until he has settled. Provide him with a warm, secure bed at ground level – a cardboard box will do. Once he has had a look around, show him where his litter box, bowls, and bed are. He may feel a bit lonely if he is used to living with his mother and siblings, so when you are not there, a soft toy or low-volume radio will help keep him company.
The Big Outdoors
Do NOT let your cat go outside until he has fully adjusted to his new home and knows where his food will be coming from. This should usually take at least 3-4 weeks.
The big outdoors – Kittens
Your kitten needs to gain experience of the outside world if he is going to feel comfortable outside when he is an adult. You will notice when your kitten becomes interested in going outside. His character and confidence will determine when this happens. Calling to him may encourage him to go outside, but never force the issue. Do not let your kitten outside unsupervised until he is at least 6 months old. You should only let your kitten out unsupervised when you feel he is confident enough and only if he or she has identification tags on.
A new home can be very stressful for both the new cat and any existing cats. A cat may demonstrate stress by scratching or spraying. These problems can be avoided by being patient and attentive to your cats’ needs. Offering enough places for each cat to be able to sleep, eat, and use the litter box, as well as providing safe hiding places will mean your cats can maintain a sense of control over their world.
Sometimes stress can suppress a cat’s immune system. A cat may suffer from diarrhea or show signs of respiratory infection as a result. If severe, or if signs do not improve, visit your vet.
Fortunately, preventing pet problems on Independence Day is possible by simply planning ahead and taking some basic precautions.
Pet Video.com, sponsored by Animal Planet, is a place where you can choose hundreds of expert training videos, enrich your pet’s life and even upload you own videos to share.
At Missing Pet Partnership, rather than telling you what YOU NEED TO DO to find your lost pet, we’d rather see lost pet services available in your community! Expecting grieving, brokenhearted people (who are not trained or equipped for the task) to search for their own missing pet does not make sense! However, the concept of lost pet services is still in the early stages of development. Since pet detectives might not be available in your area, we offer these unique lost pet behavior recovery tips.
The problem with adopting a dog from an animal shelter? The selection of available canine companions can overwhelm you! Man’s best friends come in all shapes, sizes, and–of course–personalities.
While almost any shelter dog can make a wonderful, lifelong companion for you and your family, some of those bundles of energy will make less appropriate pets for you than others.
Cats make wonderful pets and most will easily adjust to a variety of lifestyles and living spaces. Every cat is a true individual, though, so it’s important to take the time to choose a four-footed friend who’s right for you. A cat’s personality, age, and appearance, as well as the kinds of pets you already have at home, are all things you should keep in mind when making your selection.