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Happy Mother’s Day Pet Moms!

“Being a mother doesn’t mean being related to someone by blood. It means loving someone unconditionally and with your whole heart. ~ Anonymous

Senior Dog Care Challenges

The notion of dog years stems from the common belief that one year for a dog equals seven years for a human. Although canine aging is more nuanced than a simple formula, any dog lover knows that dogs’ lives pass far too quickly.

Even so, America’s 70 million dogs, like their human companions, are living longer, on average, because of better medical care and nutrition. Caring for elderly dogs can be heart-wrenching. Many pet owners struggle to understand when to pursue aggressive care and when to stop and help a beloved pet pass on.

“Older patients are the biggest challenge veterinarians face,” says Dr. Alicia Karas, an assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Tufts University. She argues for a holistic approach to older dogs, saying that “too often we focus on the affected body part or the results of an X-ray, not how an animal walks into the exam room.”

Pain tops the list of common health concerns for older dogs, with causes ranging from the routine, such as arthritis, to the more serious, such as cancer. As in humans, pain management can be complicated by other conditions. A dog with weak kidneys, for instance, may not be able to take canine-specific pain medicine.

Read more here http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/25/515610795/when-you-love-an-old-dog-managing-care-can-be-a-challenge

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My Puppy is Chewing EVERYTHING!

Puppies, just like human toddlers, need a completely puppy-proof area, either a crate or gated room. If your puppy grabs a forbidden item while you are watching him, quickly distract him with a sharp “Eh eh!” and when he drops it, redirect cheerfully with a toy that he is allowed to have.

Teaching tricks is a good way to give your pup appropriate outlets. A good one to start with is “Leave it.” Follow this link to learn how.

Insufficient exercise and mental stimulation can drive your adult dog to find destructive forms of entertainment, so it’s up to you to meet his needs. If ugly winter weather keeps you inside, play indoor games with him. Fetch, hide and seek, and tug-of-war (played correctly) are great fun and exercise for both of you. Here are some good indoor game ideas to try.

There are many entertaining dog puzzles on the market, too, and you can even make your own. Just remember that many of these are meant to be enjoyed with you and not left alone with your dog.

Read more here http://www.akc.org/content/dog-training/articles/how-to-stop-chewing/?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170227-yourakc

 

Homeward Bound Pet Care

www.homewardboundpets.com

281-909-7386

Homemade Organic Spinach and Chicken Cat Treats

Recipe from Sarah Lipoff, POPSUGAR Pets

http://www.popsugar.com/pets/Homemade-Organic-Cat-Treats-30776974

NOTES

If your cat isn’t a fan of chicken, then swap with organic salmon or tuna.

Homemade Organic Cat Treats

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/2 pound steamed organic boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  2. 1 cup fresh organic spinach leaves
  3. 1 cup organic quick-cooking oats
  4. 1 organic brown egg
  5. 1 tablespoon organic catnip
  6. 1/4 cup flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Steam the boneless and skinless chicken thighs until cooked through. You can swap for boneless and skinless organic chicken breasts, salmon, or tuna with cat-loving results too. Let the chicken cool for 20 minutes before the next step.
  2. Place the chicken, oats, spinach leaves, egg, and catnip in a blender or food processor, and pulse on low until the mixture blends together. It should still be a bit chunky but also smooth, similar to the texture of wet sand.
  3. Pop the mixture into a bowl and add the flour. You can also add a dash of salt or sugar to mix up the flavor. Use your hands to knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky, then place on a flour-dusted work surface.
  4. Use a rolling pin to create a rectangle of dough around 1/2 inch thick. With the help of a pizza cutter or small cookie cutter, create small shapes for the finished treats.
  5. Place the kitty treats on a parchment-lined sheet tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool until room temperature, and then toss to your cat.

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19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade Galveston 2/26

The Galveston Island Humane Society’s (GIHS) 19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade will have its Annual “A Cat’s Eye View” Parade Viewing Party on the balcony of the Trolley Building which will allow people to view three family fun parades: The Shriners Hospitals for Children & Sunshine Kids Parade, our Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade, and the beloved Children’s Parade following us.  

The theme for this year’s Parade is, “A Paw-Jama Party,” with our Paws Gala Elite Pet Owner winner Shelby Scott and her winning Pet of the Year, Travis. 
The “A Cat’s Eye View” Balcony Party is set for Sunday, February 26, 2017, is from Noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Our Barkus & Meoux Parade will begin at Pier 20, travel the strand to Mechanic, and return to Pier 20. Pre-registration for the parade is $20 per pet. On-site registration will be $30 per pet.

The Parade and Viewing Party are not only fun, but raise money for our community support programs.The success of these projects depends on the support of individuals and businesses who generously contribute.

Contact the shelter for details on sponsorship opportunities, 409-740-1919. The GIHS is a 501c3 organization andyour contributions are tax deductible.

?“A Cat’s Eye View”  Balcony Party Highlights:

  • FREE entrance into the entertainment district included in your Ticket
  • 1 free drink ticket with light appetizers and cash bar
  •  In the center of all the Mardi Gras action
  • View of 3 Parades
  • Perfect view of the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux parade featuring area pets, many in their Mardi Gras finest attire.

Cost: $20 per person

Purchase tickets here:  tix.extremetix.com…

All proceeds go to The Galveston Island Humane Society.

5 Pet-Conscious Tips For Valentine’s Day

Thanks to PetMD for this great article!

Does your heart melt whenever you look into the soft, imploring eyes of the one you love? Does it skip a beat at the sound of your sweetheart’s voice as you walk in the door at the end of a long day? Do you pause in the middle of the day to sigh, thinking of your honey’s warm, wet nose, and furry ears?

It’s love, and we know it — dogs and cats make the best Valentine’s ever. There’s no need to get them chocolates, and they have no use for flowers. In fact, these gifts are actually dangerous for them. But do you know why?

Here are five great tips that help will keep your pets safe this Valentine’s Day.

  1. Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Theirs. Everyone knows that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.
  1. Skip the Candygram. Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
  1. Restart the Heart. If your dog or cat should ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, it may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods for artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR), both of which can be found in our emergency section.
  1. A Rose is Just a Rose. But then again, it can also be a something that hurts your pets. The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.
  1. To Give or Not to Give. Are you planning to gift a loved one a new puppy or kitten for Valentine’s Day? You may want to reconsider. Mull it over and do your homework — animals are not disposable, nor can they easily be repackaged, regifted, or returned if the recipient is not pleased.

Homeward Bound Pet Care

Valentine’s Day Pet Do’s and Don’ts from the Pet Poison Help Line

Do find safe gifts to show your pet Valentine’s Day love! 

A new collar, treats, or toys can all be great gifts for your pet on Valentine’s day.  Valentine’s Day can also be a great time to try a new dog or cat treat recipe or make a new toy.  If your pet is already swimming in toys and treats, consider giving toys, bedding, food, or a donation to an animal shelter or rescue group in your pet’s name.

Don’t forget that many pets appreciate the gift of time and love more than anything!

An extra walk and some extra time cuddling or playing cost nothing and will be greatly appreciated by your cat or dog.  The extra exercise and snuggle time is a healthy, happy choice for you as well.

Do be careful to keep Valentine’s gifts, foods, flowers, and drinks away from your pet’s reach!

Chocolate, flowers, candy, rich foods, and alcoholic drinks are common in our homes as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Dogs will readily ingest toxic amounts of chocolate, and keep us busy here at Pet Poison Helpline at this time of year.  If you have cats, please watch out for flower bouquets that include lilies, as lilies are very toxic to cats.  Rich foods can cause stomach upset and possibly pancreatitis when ingested by pets.  Pets can be sensitive to alcohol, so be certain to keep alcoholic drinks out of reach.  Also be careful with sugar-free foods that might contain xylitol, which can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar when ingested by pets.

Don’t forget to share the love!

Valentine’s Day can be a lonely holiday for many people.  This could be a great time to visit an animal shelter and donate your time and attention to rescued pets.  While I do not recommend giving pets as gifts, if you are thinking about adding a furry friend to your household, Valentine’s Day could be a great time to adopt.  Maybe a visit with your pet could help brighten the day of someone you know who is unable to have their own dog or cat.  This could also be a great time to look into getting your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen or therapy dog to help others.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Pet Poison Helpline!

 

February is Pet Dental Health Month – Article from AVMA

Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

What is veterinary dentistry, and who should perform it?

Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. Subject to state or provincial regulation, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.

The process begins with an oral exam of your pet’s mouth by a veterinarian. Radiographs (x-rays) may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and the tooth roots below the gumline. Because most dental disease occurs below the gumline, where you can’t see it, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia. Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings.

Oral health in dogs and cats

Test Yourself!

How much do you know about your pet’s dental health? 

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.

Causes of pet dental problems

Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:

  • broken teeth and roots
  • periodontal disease
  • abscesses or infected teeth
  • cysts or tumors in the mouth
  • malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • broken (fractured) jaw
  • palate defects (such as cleft palate)

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).

The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.

Why does dentistry require anesthesia?

When you go to the dentist, you know that what’s being done is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist uses techniques to minimize pain and discomfort and can ask you how you are feeling, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.

Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. If radiographs (x-rays) are needed, your pet needs to be very still in order to get good images, and this is unlikely without heavy sedation or anesthesia.

Although anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.

What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?

What about “anesthesia-free” dental cleanings?

The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning or inspection below the gumline, where most dental disease occurs, and can result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure.

Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant – patience and training are important.

There are many pet products marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, or ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.

Valentine’s Day Safety Tips from the ASPCA

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!

Pet-Safe Bouquets
When sending a floral arrangement to someone with a cat, specify that it contain no lilies—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora. If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, he may have ingested an offending flower or plant. Use our online toxic and nontoxic plant libraries as visual guides of what shouldn’t be in your bouquets.

Forbidden Chocolate
Seasoned pet lovers know that all types of chocolate are potentially life-threatening when ingested by pets. Methylxanthines are caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiac function—they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for chowhounds to find.

Careful with Cocktails
Spilled wine, a half a glass of champagne or some leftover liquor are nothing to cry over until a curious pet laps them up. Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma. Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a large amount is ingested.

Life Is Sweet
So don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol. If ingested, gum, candy and other treats that include this sweetener can result in hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar). This can cause your pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Don’t let pets near roses or other thorny-stemmed flowers. Biting, stepping on or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs. De-thorn your roses far away from pets.

Playing with Fire
It’s nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.

Wrap It Up
Gather up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane and balloons after presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy and “fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing her to choke or vomit.

The Furry Gift of Life?
Giving a cuddly puppy or kitten may seem a fitting Valentine’s Day gift—however, returning a pet you hadn’t planned on is anything but romantic. Companion animals bring with them a lifelong commitment, and choosing a pet for someone else doesn’t always turn out right. Those living in the New York City area can let their loved one choose their own cat with a gift certificate to adopt from the ASPCA. If you’re not in New York, check your local animal care shelter or take a romantic trip to the shelter together.

Respiratory Problems in Dogs

BRACHYCEPHALIC DOG BREEDS

Brachycephalic dog breeds can be quite a challenge to care for. It doesn’t stop most of them from being some of the most popular breeds around, though. Learn what Brachycephalic syndrome is and how you can take care of a breed with this health problem.

Flat-faced dogs, like Boxers, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers can be cute, but their short noses also cause breathing problems. These brachycephalic dog breeds can suffer from snoring and snorting. These may  seem like harmless ailments, but these common issues of short-nosed dogs mean the dog’s airway is partially obstructed, and this can become worse over time if left untreated.

WHICH BREEDS ARE BRACHYCEPHALIC?

Brachycephalic means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. Other brachycephalic breeds include Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Bull Mastiffs, and English Toy Spaniels. Because the flat face is so popular, these dogs have been bred for their looks, but many suffer from airway issues as a result. The flat face is the result of a smaller upper jaw, in which the tissues inside are bigger than the jaw can allow. All of the airway issues that can result from this overcrowding are collectively referred to as “brachycephalic airway syndrome.”

WHAT OTHER PROBLEMS DO BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS HAVE?

Eyes and Eyelids: Brachycephalic dogs’ eyes tend to stick out of their skull a little more than others. Sometimes it’s difficult for eyelids to close over their eyes (even while sleeping). They are also more vulnerable to vision issues if hit on the head.

Teeth: Brachycephalic dogs have the same number of teeth as other dogs, but less space to fit them all, which can lead to peridontal disease.

Read more here https://www.petcarerx.com/article/brachycephalic-dog-breeds/1337

 

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