Your dog’s feet aren’t just made for walking. In fact, they serve a precious purpose. The pads provide extra support to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation from extreme weather, aid walking on rough surfaces, and help protect deep tissue within in the paw. It’s no wonder your pet’s paws take a bit of a beating. Follow these paw care tips and you will always be one step ahead of your pet.

  • Pampering Pedicures: If your dog’s nails are clicking or snagging on the floor, it’s time for a puppy pedicure.
  • Snip and Trim: It’s extremely important to trim paw hair regularly to avoid matting. All you need is a grooming tool to simply comb the hair out and trim evenly around the pads. Millers Forge Pet Grooming Scissors are a good option for in-home grooming. The rounded blunt tips ensure safety when trimming.
  • In Between: Make sure to clean in between your pet’s pads. Be sure to check regularly for foxtails, small bits of broken debris and pebbles. VetDepot offers the Magnifying Pet Tweezers by Miracle Point  are great for safely removing ticks, thorns, fleas, splinters or burrs.
  • Moisturize: With the wear and tear of your pet’s pads be sure to use a good pad moisturizer to help treat and prevent cracking and dryness.
  • Pup Paw Massage: Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing massage? Similar to giving a human massage, a paw massage will promote better circulation and be very relaxing for your pet.
  • Dodge the wintertime blues:  Don’t let frosty steal the holiday cheer from your pet. Be sure to rinse off your pet’s paws in warm water to get rid of the salt and toxic chemicals that can cause sores, infections and blistering.
  • TLC – tender, love and care: Just like us, our dogs need some TLC. Your pet’s paws are unforgiving, so be sure to treat them right.

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Feline Diabetes Awareness

November 22, 2010

This month is American Diabetes Month, an important time to raise awareness about the health risks Diabetes could pose for your cat. Many American cats are overweight and it is estimated that one out of every 200 cats in this country have Diabetes. Just as in humans, obesity in cats leads to a higher risk of developing Diabetes. If your feline friend is looking a little extra “fluffy”, we urge you to watch for the following early warning signs of Diabetes:

Your cat may want to eat and drink more yet suddenly lose weight. You might also notice your cat urinating much more frequently and appearing very lethargic. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is important to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Feline Diabetes is typically more manageable when caught in its early stages.  Home Glucose Monitoring Kits are available to help pet owners track cats’ blood sugar levels and ensure that their diet is effective in managing Diabetes. Many cats with Diabetes are able to live active and healthy lives thanks to the great care and attention they receive from their owners and veterinarians.

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Bringing Up Baby

November 19, 2010

Few things can add a sense of joy and excitement to your home like the addition of a new puppy or kitten. The pitter-patter of little paws will bring your house to life as your new little friend explores every room. Before you bring a new puppy or kitten home, make a few simple preparations to welcome your new pet to your world.

Walk around your house and think carefully about things in your home that could be dangerous for a tiny kitty or puppy. Also pay attention to protecting things a young furball might not be able to resist chewing, scratching or otherwise destroying. Keep wires and electrical cords out of the reach of tiny mouths by wrapping them up high or encasing them in hard plastic. Store breakable and irreplaceable items away from your curious critter in a closet or on a high shelf. Wherever you can, fill in gaps between your furniture and the wall so your new pet can’t get stuck in hard to reach places. At www.puppyeducation.com you can find many more great tips for puppy-proofing your home and training your new puppy.

You will also need to do a little shopping to get ready for your new pet. Most importantly, be sure to stock up on pet food designed for puppies and kittens. Puppies and kittens alike will need a good safety collar with an id tag. If you are planning to bring home a pup, don’t forget to get a leash! In recent years, many cat owners have been introducing their cats to life on a leash too. www.kittenbaby.com is a great resource to learn more about leash-training your kitten and many other aspects of cat care. Finally, when your home is ready and your shopping is done, get ready to enjoy a world of fun with your new pet!

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By law of nature, cats are natural predators and birds serve as their prey.  To your cat, dropping a bird at your feet is the greatest gift they can give, but what do you do if their victim is still alive?

If your cat drops a bird at your feet that appears to be alive and kicking don’t be deceived.  A bird may appear fine at first but often times will die after 24 hours of your cats attack.  The bird ultimately will die of a bacterial infection caused by your cat’s saliva.

Despite how the bird may act or appear, it should be treated for external and internal injuries.  If you decide to rehabilitate a bird yourself you should still take it to a veterinarian for proper antibiotic treatment.  If rehabilitating a wild bird is not for you, there are many wildlife rehabilitators who would be more than happy to nurse your bird back to health.  For more information on finding a wildlife rehabilitator or for more information on rehabilitating an animal yourself you can visit Rainbow Wildlife Rescue.

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Consider a Pet Food Bank

November 18, 2010

Pets are part of the family; you couldn’t imagine living without them.  For some families this can be a serious predicament they have to face: a hungry companion you can’t feed or give them up.   Most people don’t choose to give up their pets but they might have to because of economic hardship.  If you would like to help families in this position, have you ever considered starting a pet food bank? 

Terry May and Susan Fritz did just this in Brevard County, FL.  They founded Space Coast Kibble Kitchen to help families struggling with financial hardships keep their pets. Terry and Susan have teamed up with Cynthia Koppler, Bright Paws Pet Food Bank by Bright Star, and have decided to share their helpful 10 step guide for starting a pet food bank in your community.

  1. Create a Plan. Cost: $0
  2. Get Incorporated by going to your local county clerk’s office and file for Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofits Cost: $30-125
  3. File for 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status, try to find an experience non-profit accountant to help.  Cost: $400
  4. Set up Your Business, plan on storing food at your home or find a business willing to donate space and also set up a low-cost phone system.  You will also need to set up a checking account for your business. Cost: for MagicJack phone system: $39.95; $19.95 annual renewal fee
  5. Build your Brand and Start Marketing. Estimated cost: $75 for stock art
  6. Build an Online Community; always remember social marketing is free.  Cost: $0  
  7. Hold a Kickoff Fundraiser to Recoup Your Set-up Costs; work with local businesses willing to donate. Cost: $0
  8. Spread the Word with PR to local newspapers, radio and TV stations. Cost: $0
  9. Partner with Others if there is more than one local food bank; it can diminish abuse of the system. Cost: $0
  10. Distribute Pet Food to Qualified People by having applicants register and sing a form stating this assistance in necessary.

Total cost: Priceless!!

 Space Coast Kibble Kitchen and Bright Paws recently hosted its first distribution day and helped 109 families keep their four-legged friends. 

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We all know the importance of brushing our teeth daily, but what about our pets? Daily teeth brushing of our pets may be a great effort for some pet owners but prevention is the best and often cheapest way to keep our pets healthy.  By age 3 about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have established periodontal disease.  Mild cases of this disease may be gingivitis which can be reversed with teeth cleaning while more extreme cases result in tooth loss.

Both cases of periodontal disease can be very painful for pets and there will be a noticeable change in a pet’s behavior after dental care.  Common symptoms for periodontal disease are bad breath, bleeding from the gingival, changes in eating behavior or pawing and rubbing faces.  In order to save your pet from these awful side effects start preventative measures today.

It is important to start proper dental care at a young age when pets are more easily trainable but it is better late than never.  Brush your pets’ teeth daily with a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste, human toothpaste can be toxic to animals.  CET by Vibrac Animal Health offers a wide variety of toothbrushes, flavored toothpaste and dental chews to help give your pets a pearly white smile!

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Cats are creatures of the night; free spirits who live to roam the outdoors in search of adventure. This is the inevitable reality of the nature of cats. Some owners choose to keep their feline friends purely indoors, while others allow them to embrace their natural instincts and frolic outside as they please. A majority of owners try to find a happy medium and train their cat to be equally familiar with the indoors as well as outdoors.  Whether you chose to monitor your cat’s outings or let them come and go at all hours of the day and night, it is important to recognize the potential dangers of the outside world and be informed on how to keep your kitty as safe as possible.

                One of the most important things that cat owners can do for their pets well-being is to make sure they stay current on all of their vaccinations and see their veterinarian whenever necessary. Infectious diseases can easily be contracted by outdoor cats, as they often come in contact with animals that may have a contagious disease or illness. The most effective way to prevent your outdoor cat from contracting such an ailment is to make sure they never miss a vaccination. In addition to falling ill, outdoor cats are also prone to injuries such as bites and abscesses. If this occurs, it is essential to take your cat straight to your veterinarian to ensure that the injury is not an excessive danger to their long term health. Health and wellness monitoring plays a vital role in keeping outdoor cats healthy and safe.  

                Ultimately, one should not be afraid of letting their cat be independent and familiar with the great outdoors. However, it is important to be informed of the potential and dangers and to take the proper steps to ensure that Mr. Kitty is as safe as possible during all of his neighborhood escapades.

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Petsitting.com, a web based company that features a wide-reaching network of trusted pet care providers all over North America, has just made their network a little bit wider.  Petsitting.com has joined forces with PetFirst Healthcare in order to provide clients with information about quality and affordable pet insurance options.

This new union will allow Petsitting.com and PetFirst to spread the word about the importance of pet insurance.  Just like the easy to use services that Petsitting.com has been known to provide clients in relation to pet care services, Petsitting.com will refer clients to PetFirst for information about easy to understand lifetime coverage for pets.  Clients will be referred to PetFirst through the confirmation email they receive after they sign up for the company’s free service.

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A recent survey released by PetRelocation.com shares the impact our furry friends have on our holiday travel plans. The Holiday Pet Travel Survey interviewed more than 7,000 pet owners worldwide and found the majority of pet owners chose to stay close to home when booking their holiday travel agenda.

Surprisingly, a third of respondents said if they do travel they stay at pet-friendly hotels and about 66 percent said they keep their pets at home with friends or family during the holiday season. The majority of pet owners said that their pets influence where they decide to stay during the Holidays.

Traveling in and of itself can be exhausting and stressful, let alone traveling during the holiday season.  Why do the majority of pet owners chose to travel with their beloved companions? A majority of pet owners agreed, “because pets are part of the family and should be with the rest of the family during holiday occasions.”

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Cancer, the deadly disease we all know too well, is not only prevalent in humans but threatens the lives of our beloved pets as well. Many pet owners do not realize that cancer is just as likely to affect their furry companions as it is their friends and family members. Even more surprising is the costliness of treating this horrid disease in pets.  For such reasons, November marks National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

The most common cancers identified in animals include but are not limited to Lymphosarcoma, bone cancer, and cancer of the eyelid. It is extremely important for pet owners to pay attention to any lumps, changes in behavior, and unusual weight loss in their pets, as one or more of these symptoms could be an early indication of cancer.

It is frightening to think that a creature that has such a short life span to begin with can be burdened with such a nasty disease. Yet however frightening it may seem, cancer in pets is a harsh reality that requires attention. National Pet Cancer Awareness Month aims to turn this negative into something positive by educating pet owners and raising money to help discover a cure.

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