Abby’s Angels – Helping Seniors Keep Their Pets

In an article from News 4 in Georgia, one woman has found a way to help the pets in her area and the people. Abby’s Angels strives to provide seniors who may be experiencing financial difficulty with the pet supplies they need.

Nancy Cross, the founder of Abby’s Angels, said that one day she saw an older woman asking for pet food donations. The woman said she did not have enough money to get pet food. Her next social security check was a week away. Nancy bought food for the woman’s pets and realized she could do more. The charity, Abby’s Angels, was born. It is dedicated to helping seniors be able to take care of their pets, mostly through food donations. But the charity also provides bedding, grooming, and other supplies.

Recently, Abby’s Angels has expanded and now also helps re-home pets whose owners have entered hospice care.

If you would like to make a donation to Abby’s Angels, you can drop off donations at Bartram Park in Jacksonville or you can click here.

Image from News4Jax

Protect Your Pets From Halloween Dangers

As with all holidays, there are precautions we need to take so that our pets are safe and healthy. Rushing Max to the emergency vet is never fun and can be completely nerve-wracking. Halloween can be lots of fun and full of candy, trick-or-treating, and dressing up but make sure your pet is safe.

Here are a few tips to make sure it’s a great Halloween:

  1. Keep the candy away! That bowl you’re keeping by the door for the kids who come knocking on Halloween is a bowl of temptation for your pets. Keep it somewhere they can’t reach or access and on the night of Halloween, it might be best to have your dog and cat stay in another part of the house away from the front door so they aren’t stressed with the strangers coming by and noise.
  2. Decorations like pumpkins can cause some stomach upset if they try to gnaw on it. They aren’t toxic but can upset their bellies. If your dog or cat seems to be curious of the pumpkin, move it onto the porch and away from them.
  3. Be careful when keeping candles lit. Your pet could accidentally knock it over and cause a fire. A curious cat might run the risk of being singed if she tries to sniff it.
  4. When opening your door to dish out the candy, make sure your pets don’t dart out. If they are the type to run to the door, keep them in another room for a few hours till the trick-or-treating is over.
  5. Make sure your pets have proper id in case they do get out!
  6. If your pet doesn’t like costumes, then forget about dressing her/him up. Maybe a bandana is enough for halloween.
  7. If you do dress your pet up, check the costume for any small pieces, loose bits, or anything that your pet might ingest or get snagged on. Also check that it doesn’t impeded your pet’s ability to walk, breathe, see, or hear.
  8. Wires from plugged in decorative lights should be kept tucked away from where you pet might trip over them, chew on them, or get tangled up.
  9. Keep your black cats inside. Halloween tends to be a time of year that those who aren’t pet friendly might try to torment a black cat. It’s sad but true.

Image from CostumeExpress.com

We Love Our Pets – Photo Project

If you live in or near Portland, sign up and participate in this wonderful project by Charles Waugh, who founded Charles Fine Art Portraits. He’s begun a new photography project called We Love Our Pets.

If you want a professional photo of your pet or of you and your pet, all you need to do is sign up and pay $250. The price includes a copy of the book and all the proceeds go to the Oregon Humane Society. Your photo session is an hour long and during that time Charles will take several photos of your pet and will gladly add on a family session to that time frame as well, so take advantage of that! After the photos are taken you’ll see all the pictures and select which one will go into the book.

It’s a great project for a great cause so hurry and sign up for a session!

Oregon Humane Society is the largest and oldest humane society in the Pacific Northwest. OHS is not affiliated with any other humane society and relies entirely on private donations.

Charles Waugh has been photographing for years and lives with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 7 ducks and he loves and understands the love that owners have towards their pets. This project is a labor of love and we can’t wait to see the book!

Did you sign up, let us know!

Prevent Lyme Disease

More and more pets are coming down with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a kind of bacteria that is transmitted from an infected deer tick. When the tick attaches to the dog or cat, the bacteria enters the bloodstream and can cause many problems.

Signs

  • lameness
  • lethargic
  • decrease in appetite
  • fever

If you notice behavior changes in your pet, schedule a vet checkup.

Prevention

  • avoid walking through wooded areas where there’s tall grass
  • keep weeds under control to limit the spread of ticks
  • keep your pet up to date with flea and tick preventative
  • after camping trips check your dog (and yourself) for ticks

What other tips do you have for our readers? Let us know!

Image from Vetstreet.com

FIght the Fleas! Tips on prevention

It’s spring and this means that fleas are back. Although fleas can be a year round problem, the warmer months prove to be especially annoying.

How to find out if your pet has fleas

Black specks on your pet or in your dog’s bed may be “flea dirt” – the fecal matter from adult fleas. There are two easy ways to check for black specks:

  1. Run a flea comb over your pet, making sure the comb reaches the skin through the coat. If you find black specks are on the comb when you pull it off that is small and brittle and curly, then it is probably flea dirt. If fleas are on the comb, drown them in a bowl of soapy water before they can get away or jump back on your pet. A soup bowl of warm water and dish soap does the trick. You can get a flea comb from your local pet store, the metal ones work best.
  2. If your pet isn’t one for being brushed, then place a white paper towel under your pet and rub the fur, ruffle the fur, and pet him/her. If black spots fall onto the paper towel, it’s probably flea dirt.

So, now what?

When you discover fleas on your pet, your home is also home to fleas. There are most liklely eggs, larvae, and baby fleas in the areas where your pet hangs out the most. To combat the possible infestation, try the following tips:

  • Use flea preventative on your pet which can be purchased from your vet or the local pet store. Brands like Advantage or Frontline are safe to use as long as you follow the instructions. This will kill the adult fleas on your pet and may also help kill the newly hatched ones that bite your pet. It can take anywhere from 1 month to 4 months to completely eradicate fleas from the home.
  • Prevent further infestation of the home. Flea pupae are protected by their cocoons – all pupae will have to hatch out and be killed as adult fleas on the pet. It can take weeks for all pupae to hatch from an infested environment. If undisturbed, pupae can exist for many months in the environment, which is why regular flea treatment are important in helping to rid a home of an infestation.
  • Be sure to treat all dogs and cats.
  • Vacuum the areas your pet is around, especially carpeted areas in your home, furniture, and your car if your pet rides in there often. Empty the contens of your vaccum into the garbage outside of the house.
  • Wash everything, especially your pet’s bedding to get rid of eggs that might be laying in there. If your pet likes to sleep on your bed, wash the blankets, comforter, and sheets. Change them more often and make it your mission to make it impossible for fleas to “set up camp” in your house.
  • Mow your lawn and keep the yard clean to prevent areas where fleas may live.

It can be a pain to stay on top of this stuff but once you start seeing that your pet isn’t scracthing as much, your stuff doesn’t have little black specks of flea dirt, and you’re not wondering if there’s fleas in your socks… you’ll be glad you worked this hard.

Have more tips? Share them with us!

Image from Warrenphotographic

Hot Weather Pet Tips

The temperatures are rising and that means that dogs and humans alike need to take some extra care when spending time outside. While certain breeds of dogs love the hotter days, others can experience health problems. Be careful when spending time outside that your dog is not getting overheated, dehydrating, or sunburned.

Here are 5 tips for these summer days that are fast approaching:

  1. Extra water: Whether your pet is inside or outside, fresh water should be available. Check the water bowl more often during the hotter months. Thirsty animals might drink out of stagnant puddles, but don’t let them. Some puddles may have parasites in them and others may have chemicals that could be poisonous.
  2. Never leave your pet in the car: A few minutes in a car on a hot day can be deadly. The sun and heat can raise the temperature of the inside of a car up to 120 degrees. Cracking the windows doesn’t help. If you have errands to run or go somewhere where you can’t take your pet, leave her home.
  3. Protect your pet from the sun: Animals can get sunburned too. They experience the same discomfort too of peeling skin, pain, and can be prone to skin cancer. Keep walks between 10am to 4pm short and talk to your vet about pet-safe sunblocks that can be applied to the tips of ears, skin around the lips, and tip of the nose. Never use sunscreen that is for humans.
  4. Exercise during the cooler parts of the day: walks should be at a gentle pace and shorter during the hottest part of the day. Running, playing, and romping should happen during the cooler parts of the day such as early mornings and evenings. If your pet seems exhausted, let her relax and call the play time done. Take a slow walk before heading back into the car or sit outside for a bit. A hot car can feel stifling to a dog that is already panting and tired. Cool off the car and let your dog catch her breath before driving home.
  5. Heatstroke can be fatal: If your dog seems to be suffering from heatstroke, the body temperature must be brought down. If your pet seems to be suffering from heatstroke, lower the body temperature. Wet towels soaked in cool water can help and should be applied to the hairless areas of the ears, foot pads, and belly. Keep your dog calm and bring her to the vet immediately.

Image from PBFingers.com

Prevent Heat Stroke in Pets

Summer is coming and with that are some new hazards to be aware of when out and about with your dog. Heatstroke can be the serious and often fatal result of a dog’s prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Don’t forget to keep an eye open for the signs of heatstroke.

Early Stages:

  • Heavy panting.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.

Advanced Stages:

  • Lethargy, unwillingness to move.
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation.
  • Labored, noisy breathing.
  • If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, try to cool the dog down:

    • Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water.
    • Bring the pet inside immediately.
    • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes.

    If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

    Image from Fluffington Post

    7 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Make Awesome Pets

    Thinking about a getting a small pet that you and your family can love, play with, and doesn’t take up much space? Then say hello the guinea pig! They are social animals that like attention and do well in pairs. They are known to bond with their owners and have been known to love being cuddled and coo with delight. Need more reasons?

    Here are 7 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Are Awesome Pets

    1. They don’t need a lot of supplies, just a basic setup of hay, pellets, and a tunnel in a good size cage where they can walk around and everything fits nicely.
    2. They love to exercise and romp. Take them out of their cage for about an hour a day and let them play and explore. A small area like a hallway or even a bathroom is big enough for them to get mental stimulation and physical exercise.
    3. They don’t need crazy expensive toys! Something as simple as a tube that once had paper towels on it is awesome to them. Small ping pong balls can provide a fun game of chase.
    4. Guinea pigs are clean animals and don’t often need baths. You might want to brush them if they have long hair and to remove some hay and debris from their fur but bathing isn’t necessary and can cause them to catch a cold.
    5. They speak to you and react to your actions. Guinea pigs have adorable vocalizations such as grunts, purrs, coos, chirps, and squeaks. If they see you bringing them their favorite treat you can be sure you’ll hear some delight in the form of one of these sounds.
    6. They love vegetables and need lots of leafy greens and vitamin C. It’s a diet that is easy to maintain and may remind you to eat more vegetables!
    7. They like being indoors and won’t try to dart out the front door. Play time is safe, clean, and easy with these little guys.

    Image from Wikipedia

    Looking for that perfect pet? Try Allpaws

    There are many websites where you can browse shelters, rescue groups, and other organizations for that furry new friend. A new one has recently launched called Allpaws. The site has a look and feel that is similar to your typical searching site with drop down menus where you choose the type of pet, breed, and enter your zip code. The results will show you dogs, cats, hamsters, or whatever else you’re looking for within a certain radial mileage of your zip code.

    The founder of Allpaws was recently interviewed on ABC and stated that the site is exactly like using a dating site. Before launching AllPaws, Darrell Lerner co-founded a dating application that ties into Facebook. He likens the new pet searche site to a dating style site complete with advanced search tools. The choices are endless with options of play levels, good with children, gender, age, size, and location.

    In the search results you can add the pet to your favorites or share the pet on your social networks. Every little bit of free advertising helps pets gets new homes. On the left side, the filters allow you to choose the distance from your zip code that you’re willing to drive to, coat length, special needs, house trained, and behavior traits. The customization is endless and wonderful for filtering.

    At last count, the site boasted there were 92,164 pets on there waiting for their forever home. So, what are you waiting for? Go get a new family friend! We’ll wait.

    Chicks and Ducks As Presents Are Not A Good Idea

    Rabbits tend to be Easter pet presents but the care, money and time needed to take care of them can become more of a hindrance than a present if you are not 100% prepared to own one. There are many reasons not to get a rabbit as a present.

    Chickens and baby ducks also tend to be given as gifts to children on Easter and as springtime birthday presents, but before you go to your garden supply shop, there are many considerations to be aware of in the care of these pets.

    6 Reasons Chicks and Ducks Should Not Be Easter Presents

    1. You will be taking care of them, not your kids. Like many pet presents, once the fun and newness wears off the care and responsibility tend to fall on the shoulders of the parents. If you aren’t willing to clean up after the chickens and ducks, pay for food, care, and other supplies, and see if you need a permit from your county, then avoid these fellas as presents.
    2. Chickens and ducks are not solitary and prefer company, some places only sell them in pairs. They get very stressed out and lonely and can become troublesome or loud without a friend.
    3. They need warm, dry places to sleep that are also safe from predators such as raccoons, opossums, and cats. A heat lamp, bedding that is changed weekly or more, and close monitoring is necessary to make sure they thrive.
    4. Chickens and ducks can carry some bacteria but it’s more likely they can get sick from us. They can contract E. coli from humans and pass that on. Handwashing would need to become a must after handling them.
    5. Because of their physical build, walkways, ramps, and other structures that lead up to their sleeping and living area should have traction. A rubber mat works well to prevent them from slipping and breaking one of their soft bones.
    6. Also keep in mind, chickens and ducks can grow to be quite large, can escape a fenced yard, and may be a nuisance to your neighbors. Instead of getting your children a pet for Easter, how about some more candy and maybe a trip to the petting zoo?

      Image from DailyMailOnline