Celebrate Pet Month
Pet Awareness Month is a May pet observance for pet owners that promotes responsible pet ownership and makes people aware of the benefits of adopting a pet dog or cat.
Being a responsible pet owner means that pet owners must supply their domestic dogs and cats with the basics: Food, water, shelter, socialization and heath care in order to maintain overall animal wellness. Let's break it down:
1) Similar to humans, your dog or cat will need healthy pet foods that are high in nutrition. The right foods will allow for healthier coats in dogs.
2) Your animals will need fresh water, daily. If it's hot outside, place a few ice cubes in the water dish for the dog to cool down.
3) Your dogs and cats need protection from storms and will need a roof over their heads - at all times. They will need a warm, dry place to escape snow, rain, ice and heat. Give them plenty of warm blankets during wintertime.
4) Dogs and cats both need a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity to stay fit. Like us, interacting with other animals will make them happier and will give them a chance to play outside with a friend.
5) The right food, plenty of water and exercise is a winning combination to achieving complete animal health. Domestic breeds will require more time exercising as they get older; and starting off young will ensure that animals get the care they deserve.
This National Pets Month, consider adopting a kitten, puppy or senior dog or cat. Finding them a forever home will give them a brighter future; and will brighten your years, as well.
Lyme Disease in Dogs
For pet owners who have an indoor-outdoor dog, we recommend that you pay attention and learn about Lyme Disease Prevention Month in Dogs, this April 2017.
About the Black-legged Tick
Black-legged ticks are the most common type of tick in North America carrying the notorious tick-borne disease, Lyme Disease. Although Lyme is more of a concern for humans, it does harm dogs in addition to other dog tick illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, spread by American Dog Ticks.
Lyme Disease is generally spread by ticks within 24-48 hours of attaching to a human or dog. If your dog is experiencing the following symptoms, then the dog may have a tick bite.
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate and rhythm (tachyarrhythmias)
- Weakness, especially in the hind limbs
- Partial loss of muscle movements (paresis)
- Complete loss of muscle movement (paralysis), commonly seen in advanced disease state
- Poor reflexes to complete loss of reflex
- Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
- Difficulty in eating
- Disorder of voice (dysphonia)
- Asphyxia due to respiratory muscle paralysis in severely affected animals
- Excessive drooling (sialosis)
- Megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus)
- Excessive dilatation of pupil in the eye (mydriasis)
The most common sign of Lyme is a ring around the infected skin, also known as the "Bulls Eye" marking. Clinical illness in dogs lasts from 2-5 months; and can be treated with antibiotics like Doxycycline or Amoxicillin, if caught in the early stages.
Some dogs that develop kidney disease from #Lyme become severely ill or die. See a vet as soon as you successfully remove the dog tick from your pet's skin.
How to Remove a Tick
Removing a tick species is easy; but pet owners must keep calm as to not startle the dog.
Here are the steps to remove ticks:
Step 1: Purchase a Tick Removal Tool
Household tweezers may not be strong enough to successfully remove the tick. We suggest purchasing a tick remover tool from EasyPetFence.com for easy handling. Tick tweezers allow the user to gently remove the tick from the infected area with ease. With a tick tool, users will have peace of mind knowing that all parts of the tick are successfully removed from the skin.
Step 2: Disinfect the tick-biting area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Step 3: Pull the tick straight up. Be sure that the head and body both comes out completely. (Remember: Tick-borne disease transmission is not possible without the tick's head as this is what is burrowed inside the skin.) Do not rush the process so the tick's body does not break apart. If it does break for any reason, remove the broken parts from the infected area - do not leave the remaining body parts attached to your skin.
Step 4: Disinfect the tick-biting area with rubbing alcohol one final time.
Step 5: Place the tick in a sealed container. Store in refrigerator if it is alive, and the freezer if it is dead.
Step 6: Take the tick to a doctor's office quickly for testing to identify the type of tick; and consider testing for Lyme Disease and other diseases.
To safeguard pets this Dog Tick Prevention Month, EasyPetFence encourages homeowners to install a dog fence around properties to keep out wildlife that may be carrying ticks.
Spring Pet Wellness Tips
Now, that the snow is melting and warmer days are here, dogs and cats can spend more time outside. Here are a few spring season pet wellness tips to keep in-mind:
Your Pets Will Be Playing Outside
For homeowners who are new to being a responsible pet owner, we encourage them to install a dog fence in the backyard so, dogs of all breeds can freely roam the backyard - safely. Speaking of safety, don't purchase shock collars or invisible dog fences. An invisible dog fence hurts the dog; and for the animal, it doesn't know why it is being harmed, it just knows that it is too afraid to keep moving. A humane dog enclosure from EasyPetFence is a must-have for dogs this spring.
Even cats need as much exercise as a dog; and with a Kitty Corral Cat Fence from EasyPetFence, domestic cats can play in their new cat enclosure without fear of interfacing with wild animals and birds. With a cat fence, the cat won't be able to jump or climb out of the fence and get lost, stolen or into trouble.
Gardeners: Watch What You Grow In Spring
There are over 700 plants that pose a threat to domestic breeds including:
- Lilies, daffodils and other bulb plants
- Tomatoes still attached with leaves and stems
- Mushrooms and other fungi
- Rhubarb plants
You don't have to give up your gardening hobby because of you adopted a pet; but you may want to plant away from the dog fence or cat enclosure. For a complete list of poisonous plants for dogs and cats, see the ASPCA's website and talk to Animal Control.
In addition to plants, gardeners need to be careful what yard chemicals they use to spray grass. Check labels and make sure the ingredients will not harm your dog or cat.
Check For Ticks and Fleas
This goes for you, too. After long periods of outdoor activity, please do a thorough tick check on your pets by gently combing and viewing around the legs, head, neck and ears.
Ticks are most active in the warm months beginning in March; and generally appear in gardens, forests and grassy areas. They tend to hide under leaves for warmth and will feed on warm-blooded mammals given the chance. A tick bite is no laughing matter. Although not all ticks are harmful, some ticks may be carrying Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other bacterial diseases. Take these steps to successfully remove a dog tick.
Update Dog Vaccinations
Spring is a good time to check-in with your vet and make sure your dog is up-to-date with shots. We choose Spring because dogs socialize more with other dogs continuing through Summer; and this is when dog bites and dog fights most occur.
It's Time For Spring Cleaning
As with babies, homeowners need to keep household goods away from dogs and cats that may be harmful to them in large dosages. Most pet owners know not to give dogs chocolate, nuts, raisins and grapes; but they may not think about cleaning items. Keep these items away from your pets:
- Carpet Freshener and Shampoo
- Toilet Cleaners
- Vinegar and water
- Fabric softener sheets
- Cold and flu medications
This is a great season to be a pet owner! Enjoy the great outdoors with your beloved pets; take them to dog parks; and play with them in the backyard.