Keep Pets Safe this Halloween

Just like with children, there are safety issues to consider when costuming your pets…….

(Family Features) Halloween isn’t just for humans; four-legged friends have plenty of opportunity to get in on the fun, too. However, it’s important to take some pet precautions that allow the whole family to enjoy the holiday safely, as the costumes and excitement can be overwhelming and some of the candy is even dangerous.

As you’re filling the candy buckets and assembling the perfect costumes, be sure to heed these tips from the experts at PetSmart for a Halloween filled with pet-friendly fun:

Out and about
Make sure pets have proper identification by microchipping and registering your pet’s microchip, and keeping identification and registration tags on their collars. This is especially important around Halloween, when open doors offer more opportunity for escape.

If your pet will be joining the family while trick-or-treating, be sure they are visible to motorists by using a reflective collar, harness or leash.

Costume concerns
Just like with children, there are safety issues to consider when costuming your pets. Not all dogs like wearing clothes and some may become stressed or agitated while wearing a costume or sweater. However, many dogs just need a little coaxing and positive reinforcement.

  • Start with a simple accessory, like a bandana, working your way up to a costume.
  • Make sure costumes include eye and ear holes, and if they don’t, consider removing whole portions of the costume to ensure your pet’s ability to see, hear and breathe. Make sure there isn’t anything that could be a tripping hazard. Also, be sure to check the costume for little parts within biting or chewing distance.
  • Dogs can overheat easily, so ensure your dog’s clothing is not too bulky or heavy if the weather is warm.
  • In the end, the top priority should be your pet’s comfort level.

Hazardous food and decorations
“It’s fun to include our pets in our celebrations, but it’s also important to be aware of the dangers associated with Halloween to ensure their safety,” said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “Keep chocolate and candy out of paws’ reach. Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in candy, gum, mints and baked goods, is toxic to pets and can cause liver damage.”

Keep the Halloween fun going by establishing some rules for your family and any guests joining the festivities:

  • Xylitol can be extremely dangerous to pets, even in small amounts. Just 1/8 teaspoon can cause dangerously low blood sugar in dogs and 1/2 teaspoon can cause liver damage. If xylitol is consumed by your pet, take him or her to a veterinarian immediately.
  • Natural stimulants in chocolate can cause a range of symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Raisins may cause a toxic reaction in dogs from vomiting to kidney failure.
  • Cellophane, plastic and paper from candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • As an alternative to sharing dangerous snacks, stock up on some seasonal dog-friendly treats and set out a pet-specific bowl.

Seasonal decorations can also pose a threat:

  • Fall decorations like jack-o’-lanterns can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Glow sticks can cause irritation, agitation and vomiting.
  • Hot wax and flames from candles can potentially burn your pet’s nose, tongue or tail.

Don’t forget the fun
Despite some concerns, Halloween can still provide fun moments for your pet:

  • Take your dog along for trick-or-treating.
  • Allow your four-legged friend to greet trick-or-treaters at the door.
  • Encourage friends to dress up their pets and join the festivities.

Find more tips and tricks for keeping your pets safe this Halloween at PetSmart.com.

SOURCE:
PetSmart

The Evolution of Pumpkin Spice

How the iconic fall treat progressed from pumpkin pie to practically everything–including dog treats……

(Family Features) Pumpkin spice has become the quintessential symbol of fall. Check out these details about the evolution of the iconic autumn flavor, from holiday pie to lattes and even dog treats, such as GREENIES™ Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Treats. Find these seasonal treats for your furry friend at Chewy.com.

SOURCE:
Greenies

4 Ways to Fall in Love with Fall

Autumn activities for you and your pup….

(Family Features) The leaves may be changing, but that doesn’t mean the end of outdoor fun. Fall is a wonderful time for you and your dog to get out of the house and enjoy the season.

Add these activities to your autumn schedule to make the most of cozy sweater weather with your furry friend.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch – Spend a fall afternoon at a pumpkin patch searching for the perfect pumpkin to decorate your home for the season or carve up for Halloween. For some extra “likes” from your social following, snap an adorable fall photo with your pup and your pumpkin. If you don’t have a pumpkin patch nearby, try visiting a local apple orchard then bake your picks into a fresh apple pie.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Browse Your Local Farmer’s Market – Spend a leisurely weekend strolling your local farmer’s market or fall harvest festival. You can walk your dog as you spy and try delicious seasonal produce, like apples, squash, beets and cranberries. Some stands may offer treats for your dog, or you can bring your own pocketful of fall-friendly pumpkin spice dog treats (like GREENIES™ Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Treats) to keep your furry friend happy.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Take Longer Walks – Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean you and your dog have to spend your days cooped up in the house. In fact, after months of hot weather, you and your pup might even be able to take longer walks, thanks to the comfortable, cooler climate. It’s also an opportunity to bundle up in your favorite fall layers.

  1. Pumpkin Spice Everything – Whether you’re sipping on a latte or enjoying some sweets, pumpkin spice is the quintessential fall flavor. Now while you’re baking your favorite fall-spiced treats, you can even share in the popular craze with your dog with GREENIES™ Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Treats. This seasonal treat provides an enjoyable taste while cleaning teeth and gums, freshening your pup’s breath and leaving his smile sparkling.

For more information on sharing in the pumpkin spice craze with your pet, visit Greenies.com.

SOURCE:
Greenies

At Your Service

Fast facts about service dogs……

(Family Features) Service dogs work hard each and every day to protect their human counterparts. Not only are they constant companions, but they are hardworking animals that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can help lessen the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, for example.

In honor of National Service Dog Month, consider these facts about the four-legged service animals:

Common Misconceptions About Service Dogs
Because they’re often cute and cuddly, it’s not unusual for people to forget that service dogs are working animals, not pets, and they have been individually trained to help people with disabilities. Guide, hearing and service dogs typically accompany a person anywhere the general public is allowed, including restaurants, businesses and on airplanes, providing support as their owners go about their daily lives.

However, a survey by American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, suggests that employees are not educated about the unique needs of customers with service dogs. Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) retail employees said they never received training from their employer on the questions they are legally allowed to ask customers to verify an animal is a service dog.

Further adding to confusion is a lack of understanding of the difference between service dogs and other assistance animals. Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs assist people in their daily lives, but they do not have the same responsibilities as service animals. For instance, therapy dogs provide affection and comfort to their owners, but they do not have special rights of access in all buildings or public areas. Since service animals often provide mobility assistance or communicate medical alerts, they should always be allowed to accompany their owners.

A Helping Paw
At times, these innocent misconceptions can lead to discrimination against those who rely on the support of a service dog. To combat this problem, American Humane and Mars Petcare, the world’s leading pet nutrition and health care business, created resources, such as training videos, to help businesses better accommodate patrons who have service dogs. Aligning with the Better Cities For Pets™ initiative, the videos and other resources help provide an understanding of the roles service dogs play to help create a world where pets and working animals are welcome across all communities.

“Dogs have incredible abilities, including saving lives and making the world a better place,” said Angel May, corporate citizenship lead at Mars Petcare. “Service dogs are animals that should be celebrated for the good they bring to society, and we hope that increased awareness of their working nature leads to a deeper understanding of their important role.”

For additional information on service dogs, visit bettercitiesforpets.com/servicedogs.

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

5 Ways Dogs Can Improve Lives

If you’re new in town or looking for new friends, use your walks as an opportunity to meet your neighbors and engage with other dogs…….

 

(Family Features) Whether playmates or protectors, the human-animal bond is often a powerful connection that goes beyond pure companionship. Dogs typically have many talents and personas – they can be man’s best friend, a canine companion during a difficult time or even a service dog helping veterans and others through daily routines. No matter the relationship between dog and human, these animals can improve lives in numerous ways.

Consider these five ways dogs can make a positive impact on your life and those around you, and find more information at bettercitiesforpets.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

  1. Pets make communities healthy

It’s no surprise that dog owners are more likely to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, taking a quick walk with your dog a few times each week can increase general health and may help reduce rates of obesity.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Dogs can be great icebreakers

If you’re new in town or looking for new friends, use your walks as an opportunity to meet your neighbors and engage with other dogs. Dogs can help make easy introductions to other pet owners and non-pet owners alike, and even potentially help you find your next pet-sitter.

  1. Animals can provide a sense of comfort

Some animals are trained to provide therapeutic aid and wellbeing. Therapy and facility dogs help normalize environments, such as hospitals and universities, by alleviating fear and giving comfort during difficult experiences. For example, Mars Petcare’s Better Cities For Pets initiative is working to bring the healing power of pets to more children and families nationwide, including a partnership with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to support a dedicated facility dog and staff position.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

  1. Many pets protect those who served

Service dogs can help veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress – yet people may be unprepared to accommodate the unique needs of service dogs. To help educate people on how to interact with an individual who has a service dog, American Humane, which has helped the U.S. military and military animals for 100 years, created a wealth of resources, including these informational videos.

Photo courtesy of iStock

  1. Dogs can de-stress the office

Making the office a pet-friendly zone has its perks. In fact, a Mars Petcare survey shows that having furry friends around the office boosts morale and lessens anxiety, giving you even more of a reason to spend all day, every day, with your pet.

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

5 Tips for Keeping Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Just like humans and dogs, cats have energy they need to expel throughout the day…..

(Family Features) While the weather may change from summer to fall, your relationship with your feline never goes out of season. Events on the calendar can seem to pile up as the year goes on, but don’t forget to go the extra mile for your pet and show him how much he means to you.

Whether the sun is shining, the leaves are changing colors or there is snow on the ground, these five tips can help you bond with your cat all year long and make sure he is feeling his best.

For more information on keeping your cat happy and healthy, visit cravepetfoods.com and greenies.com.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Create Space to Play

Just like humans and dogs, cats have energy they need to expel throughout the day. Help your cat feel like a member of the family by giving him a dedicated space in the house where you can play together. It can also double as a place to keep his toys.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

  1. Fuel Playtime with a High-Quality Diet

Even the cutest and cuddliest kitties share a connection with their ancestors, so to respect the animal inside, nourish your pet with his natural desires in mind. One purr-worthy option is CRAVE™ cat food, which is made with high-quality animal protein and no grains. The recipes provide the nutrients needed for a strong, lean body and the energy to chase – even if it’s just a toy around the house.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Toys are a Cat’s Best Friends

Cats are curious by nature and almost always looking for something to get their paws on. Have a variety of toys on-hand, such as laser pointers, feather wands and stuffed mice, which can give your cat the chance to practice his pouncing skills. Not only is this a great form of exercise, but it also allows him to exert his instincts to chase.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Keep Him Smiling

When considering your cat’s health, don’t forget about oral care. Dental treats such as GREENIES™ Dental Treats help freshen breath and clean your cat’s teeth, helping to keep bad breath from getting in the way of cuddles with your favorite feline.


Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Spend Quality Time Together

Don’t let a busy life get in the way of spending quality time and building companionship with your cat. If your schedule is full, try checking off your to-do list with your cat by your side. Fold your laundry or do work in the same room so he knows you’re there. You can also squeeze in snuggle time as you wind down and watch television or read a book before bed.

SOURCE:
https://www.cravepetfoods.com/
https://www.greenies.com/

WEST NILE VIRUS CONFIRMED IN OHIO HORSES

Diseases spread by mosquitoes are preventable in horses with proper vaccination

Diseases spread by mosquitoes are preventable in horses with proper vaccination

(REYNOLDSBURG, OH) August 21, 2018– The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first positive cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses for 2018. Two cases in Northeast Ohio have been confirmed and the animals had not been vaccinated. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control) and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. Mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30-40 percent in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. WNV is endemic in the United States and Ohio has reported positive cases in horses each of the last few years. There were 14 confirmed cases of WNV in Ohio in 2017.

“My message to horse owners is simple: vaccinate your animals and you can protect against West Nile Virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “Vaccines are a proven and effective prevention tool and I encourage all owners to talk to their veterinarian to learn how they can easily keep their animals healthy.”

In addition to vaccinations, horse owners should work to reduce the mosquito population and eliminate possible breeding areas. Recommendations include: removing stagnant water sources; keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening; and using mosquito repellents.

image attribution:  Wiki Historian N OH at English Wikipedia

5 Benefits of Having a Dog

Your pet isn’t the only one who can make friends at the dog park……

(Family Features) Few things compare to the feelings of love and companionship that come with owning a dog. Many owners even call their dogs “fur babies” or say they’re a “pet parent.” While having a pet comes with responsibilities and commitment, the physical and emotional benefits can make bringing a pet into the family a worthwhile experience.

Consider these benefits of having a pet and why it’s one of the most satisfying feelings in the world, and visit Nutro.com or Pedigree.com to learn how to fulfill your pup’s nutritional needs.

  1. Work Out with a Buddy – If you’re looking to stay active, look no further than your four-legged friend as the ultimate workout partner. Take your pooch for a walk or run, or play a rousing game of fetch. You’ll get in some exercise, and he can expel some extra energy.

  1. Share Your Healthy Lifestyle – When trying to eat healthy, it can be easier to do it with a buddy to help keep you motivated, and your furry friend can be the perfect partner. Provide your pooch with a nutritious pet food made with real, recognizable, nutritious ingredients, such as chicken, salmon, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. One option is NUTRO™ dog food, which has adapted human eating trends for pets with pet food recipes that are simple, purposeful and trustworthy.

  1. Meet New Friends – Your pet isn’t the only one who can make friends at the dog park. Use your dog walks and trips to the dog park as an opportunity to socialize with fellow dog owners in the neighborhood and make some new, dog-friendly buddies to spend time with.

  1. Feel Good About Doing Good – The relationship between pets and pet parents is a special thing for everyone involved. Pets bring unconditional love, goodness and endearing innocence to their owners’ lives, and pet parents provide their furry friends with their forever homes. These loving homes are especially meaningful for rescue dogs. The PEDIGREE® brand is built on an unwavering love for all dogs and a commitment to pet adoption, which is why they have donated more than 20 million pounds of pet food to shelter dogs since 2008. With dog food options for every life stage, you can feel good about feeding your pet while making a positive impact on the lives of other pets in need.

  1. Enjoy Constant Hugs and Kisses – At the end of the day, it’s hard to beat the feeling of coming home to a wagging tail and a smiling, furry face. Simply put, dogs can bring joy into peoples’ lives with unconditional love and endless hugs and snuggles.

SOURCE:
Nutro
Pedigree

2018 GOST Pet Show Winners

Cats, Dogs, and More……..

Here are the results from the 2018 Good Ole Summertime Pet Show.

Dogs –

1st Place – Paisley Long, age 6, with her 5 month old Yorkipoo, Franks

2nd Place – Sarah Bowen, age 4, with her 2 year old Collie, Willow

3rd Place –Erika Mills, age 4, with her 6 year old Golden Retriever, Chloe

1st Place – Paisley Long, with Franks

 

Cats –

1st Place – Kale McDonald, age 9, with his 11 week old Siamese, Jax

Kale McDonald, age 9, with Jax

2nd Place – Ashlyn Coup, age 6, with her 2 year old Maine Coon mix, Precious

3rd Place – Skyler Livingston, age 11, with his basket of 2 week old black & gray kittens

Rilex and Skyler Livingston

Other –

1st Place –Rilex Livingston, age 5, with his Guinea Pig, Zeek, disguised as a Bunny Pig

All 14 participants received a ribbon, McDonald’s treat coupons and Daily Queen coupon!  Thanks to Celina Kuhlman, Leah McMahan, and Rani Clark for volunteering as judges!

Mills family with Chloe

 

Ashlyn & Connor Coup with cats, Precious and Patches

Congratulations to All!!