Posts Tagged ‘Purina’

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10. Be a responsible pet owner by obeying local ordinances and leash laws. Be a good pet neighbor.

 9. Learn how to detect early signs of pet illness, and always follow the expert advice of your veterinarian.

 8. Begin your pet’s training early, starting with basic house training and proceeding to obedience training when your pet is ready.

 7. Spend time with your pet every day to develop a positive human/animal bond and to teach your pet “social skills.”

 6. Provide your pet with daily exercise according to your pet’s age and physical condition.

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Tips borrowed from Purina’s The Pet Owner’s Checklist.

Next up: Tips 1-5 for Responsible Pet Care, on Thursday, July 30th.

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     One of the most serious risks of leaving a pet outdoors during the summer is Heat Stress.  Heat Stress occurs when the pet’s body is unable to cool itself, resulting in dehydration, brain damage, organ failure, even death. 

This guy knows how to chill out in a cool pool.

     Most pet owners are aware of the danger in leaving a pet in a parked car for even a few minutes.  However, pets left outdoors without adequate cool shelter are also at risk.  Purina provides the following tips and advice:

     “Any pet can suffer from heat stress.  However, particularly susceptible are:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress
  • Short-nosed [pug-nosed] breeds (Bulldogs, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, etc.)
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders

     Help prevent heat stress by:

  • Providing plenty of clean, fresh water for your pet at all times*
  • Providing adequate ventilation and air circulation when pets are kept in kennels or pens
  • Providing shade cover when pets are outdoors
  • Avoiding excessive exercise of pets during hot weather
  • Never leaving pets in parked vehicles

     “Some signs of heat stress are profuse panting and salivation, staring or an anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm dry skin, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscular weakness or collapse.
     “If your pet has heat stress, try to reduce his temperature by gradually immersing your pet in cool water, spraying him with cool water or applying ice packs to his head and neck.  Then take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.”

     *Keep in mind that water left outdoors (especially in metal bowls) can become too hot to drink or provide any cooling benefit.  Check and change the water often.

     Heat stress is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stress, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Purina’s booklet of Spring and Summer Pet Care Tips is available at our office.]

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This article was originally posted on June 10, 2011.
Photo:  Search and Rescue dog FloJo cools off after a training session in Florida.  Photo by Leif Skoogfors.  From the FEMA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons.

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     If your pet has a medical emergency, are you prepared to authorize treatment which can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars? Would you care if you never recouped any of the cost? Or is there a chance you, like many others, may opt for euthanasia if the cost of treatment is out of reach? Maybe it’s time to consider pet health insurance.

     Pet health insurance is like a forced savings account for medical emergencies. You pay a monthly premium, secure in the knowledge the policy will be there for your pet in an emergency, all the while hoping nothing bad ever happens. But bad things do happen, even to good pets.  

     Residents of Virginia can choose from among six state-approved insurance companies. I recommend stopping by our office to pick up their brochures so you can keep track of the companies as you research them. For now, here are the six:

     One way in which pet insurance differs from human health insurance is expected payment. In a human health setting, it is common practice for a doctor to bill the insurance company first and then bill the patient for the remainder. In a pet health setting, the pet owner may be required to pay the full cost of service upon check-out. At our office, full payment is required at the time of service. We then file your claim for you (there is no fee for filing) and the insurance company reimburses you directly.     

     Part of preparedness in an emergency is knowing what is expected of you financially. Pet insurance can certainly help put money back into your bank account after an emergency, but depending on hospital policy, it may not be a magical elixir you can use to pay your bills at check-out. Because of this, I recommend you check with the local emergency hospital so you’ll know whether full payment is expected at the time of service or whether they will file the insurance claim first. Do not be surprised if it is the former.

     Only you can decide if pet health insurance is a wise investment. I can offer that I have witnessed cases in which I was happy to see that a client had pet insurance and cases where it was a shame they did not. In every case, the money was spent – but only the clients whose pets were insured recovered some of that cost.  ~~  Jen

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This article was originally posted on August 16, 2010.

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     On Wednesday, I blogged about the dangers of visceral fat buildup in pets. But how do you know if your pet is truly overweight? Purina makes it easy with a Body Condition System, ranging from Emaciated to Grossly Obese.

     Click on the charts below to compare your dog or cat to those illustrated. Does your pet need to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain, based on what you see here?

     The Body Condition System chart is also available online for dogs and cats.

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     Weather experts warn that the extreme high temperatures and humidity we’ve been experiencing will continue over the weekend.

     You may have noticed that stepping outside is like opening the door to a blast furnace.  And according to the weather report at WVEC Channel 13, Friday’s temperature will feel like 110° Fahrenheit.  Now imagine living outdoors wearing a fur coat all day – that’s what it’s like for our pets.

     Please keep pets indoors and provide fans or air conditioning during these days of extreme heat and humidity.  Provide cool water, as well.  Pets should not be exercised outdoors and bathroom break time should be limited, if possible. 

     Remember, pug-nosed dogs such as Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Chinese Pugs, and Boston Terriers (to name a few) have greater difficulty cooling the air they breathe in, due to a shortened snout.  For this reason, they are very susceptible to heat stroke.

     To learn more about the signs of heat stroke or heat stress in pets, see our blog post here.

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