The Wood County Humane Society is holding an adoption special during March.
Select Adult Dogs and Cats
Select Adult Dogs and Cats
The Wood County Humane Society is holding an adoption special during March.
People who walk their dog tend to get more physical activity more days a week than those who don’t.
(Family Features) More than 84 million U.S. homes have a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, and in many of those homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities.
To help create a more pet-friendly world, Mars Petcare introduced the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification, as an extension of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program. The certification celebrates cities that have made progress toward becoming more pet-friendly by evaluating them across four categories: shelters, homes, parks and businesses.
“The presence of pets can help make people healthier – both physically and mentally,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”
Consider these benefits of pets, along with research from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition that shows a number of ways pets make people and communities happier and healthier, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more and to find out how to help make your city more pet-friendly.
Limit walks in extreme cold weather and monitor your pet’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort…..
(Family Features) When temperatures drop, humans know to bundle up and avoid excess time outdoors. The same approach should be taken when it comes to pets. They may be covered by cozy fur coats, but not all of those coats are created equally.
“Hypothermia is a real danger for pets in the wintertime, and despite pets’ natural fur coats, it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in and cause serious problems,” said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert.
Freeman recommends keeping an eye out for the initial signs of hypothermia, such as skin that’s cold to the touch, pale skin and gums, intense shivering and lethargy. In addition, she offers these tips to help protect your pet from a blustery winter:
Outdoor access: Limit walks in extreme cold weather and monitor your pet’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort. Never leave a pet outside during a winter storm. Do not let your dog off its leash after snowfall. Snow masks familiar scents and your pet may become lost and disoriented.
Chemical hazards: Snow-melting products like deicers, antifreeze and salt can cause skin irritations and, if ingested, can be fatal. If you live in an area where these products are used, it’s important to thoroughly rinse your pet’s paws and belly after a walk.
Adding extra layers: If your pet is small and short-haired, he or she is likely sensitive to the cold. The same goes for older pets and those that may be frail or ill. You can’t take your pet’s temperature by touching its nose, but a shivering body means he or she needs a sweater. Larger and long-haired pets can usually tolerate cold weather for longer periods of time, and even though you might bundle up, your pet has a long, thick coat prepared for long winter walks. Just remember paws get cold and sharp objects may be hiding under the powder – consider putting booties on your pet’s paws for added comfort.
Skin-saving solutions: Many pets get dry skin during the winter season. When they do need a bath, try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep their skin healthy and pH-balanced.
In addition, a pet emergency preparedness kit should be packed and contain the supplies needed to help keep your pet fed, warm and secure in the event of emergency conditions such as blizzards and extreme cold weather. Items like a sweater, insulated vest, paw booties or wax, pet-safe ice melt and a heated bed or pad can all help head off risks associated with cold weather.
Emergencies can also create circumstances for pets to become separated from their families. In addition to ensuring your pet is wearing a tag with your cell phone number along with microchipping and registering him or her with current contact information, also tuck a copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records, veterinary contact information and a current photo of your pet in your emergency kit.
Keeping your pet well-fed through an emergency also requires advanced planning. Store a one-week supply of food in a waterproof container, along with bottled water, portable bowls, a manual can opener (if your pet eats canned food) and a list of feeding routines and behavioral considerations in case someone else must take over care.
Also be sure to gather any other care items your pet may require, such as puppy pads, waste bags, litter box supplies and calming spray.
Find more advice for keeping your pet safe this winter at PetSmart.com.
If you have a high-energy dog or a curious cat, it’s important to make playtime a priority.
(Family Features) Pets can be morning jog partners and movie night snuggle buddies, but they often do much more than that: they can help make their owners healthier both physically and mentally. Research from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition found that having a pet reduces the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as stress, depression and fear. While you should show your pets you’re thankful for them all year round, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reassess and make sure your pets are feeling the love, in return for everything they do for you.
To help create a world where there are more healthy, happy pets and more places where pets are welcome, the experts at Mars Petcare created the Better Cities for Pets™ program, an initiative that offers tools to help cities become more pet-friendly, such as developing enough green spaces for pets to explore. This, in turn, creates more opportunities and places for people to spend time with their pets and shower them with love.
This holiday season, consider these four ways to show how thankful you are for your pet. Learn more about how to make the lives of pets happier and healthier at bettercitiesforpets.com.
The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys…..
(Family Features) The holiday season – and the lead-up to it – is a popular time to bring home a new puppy or kitten.
Consider these tips from the pet experts at PetSmart Charities to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home merry and bright.
Know that pet parenting is a lifetime commitment. That oh-so-sweet puppy or kitten stage only lasts so long, so be sure that you’re prepared to give a lifetime of loving care. Nurturing the bond, you create during the early months can create a foundation for lifelong companionship.
Consider adoption first. There are literally thousands of animals of all breeds and ages looking for loving homes. Consider adopting a pet that needs a home from a local shelter or adoption event.
“When you consider an option like adoption, you can make sure one less dog or cat is spending the holiday season in a shelter while also providing the gift of unconditional love to a furry friend in need,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, which helps find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. “As a way to make adoption more accessible, we work with local adoption partners to host regular adoption events at the Every Day Adoption Centers in nearly every PetSmart store nationwide.”
Select an appropriate pet. Integrating a pet into your household, especially for a first-time pet owner, can take some work. It’s important to consider factors like how often you travel, whether your work schedule will allow a visit home during the day for a potty-training puppy and if you’re willing to provide necessary care, such as daily brushing for a long-haired animal. Also consider whether you truly want a puppy or a kitten; an adult pet offers numerous benefits, such as potentially being house-trained already and more resilient for play with small kids.
Be realistic about the big reveal. Picturesque as it may be, the classic image of a puppy or kitten making a surprise leap from a box under the tree isn’t always as simple as it may appear, especially if kids are involved. Start by setting expectations with children so they don’t startle their new pet with a burst of excitement that can be scary for a small animal. Rather than putting the pet in a box, for an easier solution consider bringing the pet home before the excitement of the big day, and instead wrapping up supplies like a leash and feeding bowl to place under the tree and putting a festive collar on the new pet.
Prepare for pet parenting. The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys. Look into training classes and find a veterinarian you trust for regular checkups. Also take time to pet-proof your home, removing items that may pose a health threat or create temptations for undesirable behaviors.
Find more advice on introducing a new pet to your home this holiday season and locate an Every Day Adoption Center near you at petsmartcharities.org .
Help keep your dog happy and healthy throughout the holiday season……….
(Family Features) When winter approaches, it brings a number of distractions and factors that tend to keep people from getting outside and staying active. From holiday parties and vacations to bad weather, it’s important to keep health and exercise top of mind throughout the busy season. This is especially important for your furry friends since they depend on their owners to keep them healthy and active.
Help keep your dog happy and healthy throughout the holiday season with these tips, and for more information on healthy habits for your dog, visit IAMS.com.
Pet parents typically want to provide a well-balanced diet, made from quality ingredients……
(Family Features) When it comes to selecting the right food for their dogs, people often agonize about choosing among a myriad of options. Given that 95 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, according to a Nielsen survey on The Humanization of Pet Food, pet parents typically want to provide a well-balanced diet, made from quality ingredients.
Whether looking to introduce variety into a pet’s diet or address a problem, such as a food sensitivity or weight issue, the right pet food can nurture pets and address health issues.
“There are so many well-formulated dog foods to choose from today,” said Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, senior nutritionist, Petcurean. “Like humans, all animals are unique, so it just takes a little patience and persistence to find the recipe that is best for each pet.”
Keep these tips in mind when evaluating what might be best for your pup:
Look at the ingredients
High-quality, whole-food ingredients like fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and grains provide the essential nutrients your dog requires. They are also a source of other important dietary components such as antioxidants and plant-based nutrients to support optimal health.
Select a protein source
For dogs with food sensitivities, selecting a protein source can be tricky. If you suspect a food sensitivity, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. You’ll also need to begin testing alternative food options to identify a formula your dog can tolerate. If you are not sure which proteins your dog is sensitive to, try something more obscure, such as duck or pollock.
A limited-ingredient diet may also be beneficial to lessen the chance of an adverse food reaction. These diets usually contain a single-source, novel protein and have a limited number of ingredients, which decreases the odds of your pup eating something that doesn’t agree with his or her stomach.
Consider activity level and weight
You may need to choose a food that is designed to meet specific needs. For example, an overweight dog may need a food with fewer calories. With a calorie-reduced food, you may be able to feed the same volume, but your dog will take in fewer calories. Alternatively, high-energy and active dogs may require food higher in fat and carbohydrates.
Look for healthy fats
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can provide health benefits in dogs. The omega-3 content of a food can sometimes be found in the guaranteed analysis on the packaging. Some examples of ingredients that contain omega-3 fatty acids are salmon oil, flax oil and canola oil. A good guideline is to look for foods that contain an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio between 5:1-10:1.
Think about rotational feeding
You also may want to consider a rotational diet, which can allow your pet to experience different flavors and textures and discourage picky eating. This approach also encourages varied proteins and food forms.
For those looking to change things up for their pet without making a full switch, there are also creative ways to add variety to your pet’s diet, such as adding wet food, mixers or toppers. Consider an option like GO! Solutions Meal Mixers, which feature freeze-dried, functional ingredients including single-source primary proteins and whole fruits and veggies. Available in four recipes that address different dietary needs, the mixers can be incorporated into dry kibble, stews or pates or served as a snack to add a boost of concentrated nutrition.
Find additional help choosing the right food for your dog’s dietary needs at PetcureanGo.com.
Petting or playing with animals can reduce stress levels and increase happiness in patients……
The Benefits of Pet Therapy
by Healther Schalk, Volunteer Coordinator, Blanchard Valley Hospital Auxiliary
Many of us consider our pets as family members. They are usually loving creatures who are great at lending an ear and keeping us company. But pets offer more benefits to our health than simply being good companions. Pets that are trained to be therapy animals have been scientifically proven to provide physical and mental benefits to owners and patients.
Pet therapy is the umbrella term used to describe animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy helps people cope with both mental and physical health problems, such as anxiety or cancer. Animal-assisted activities are more general, such as when animals comfort patients in a hospital as they receive treatment. While most people immediately think of dogs as the animals involved in pet therapy, almost any kind of tame, friendly animal can be used for pet therapy.
Petting or playing with animals can reduce stress levels and increase happiness in patients. This is because these actions cause endorphins to release in patients’ brains, helping them relax. As a result, relaxation can contribute to physical health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, decreased pain and increased cardiovascular health. For patients in need of physical therapy, the act of throwing a toy or simply playing with a therapy animal can increase joint movement, improve motor skill functions and produce a faster recovery time. Additionally, the presence of a therapy animal during physical therapy has been proven to increase motivation in patients, helping them improve on physical tasks.
Patients may also receive mental health benefits from engaging with therapy animals. Pet therapy can reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation, encourage communication and socialization skills, and provide comfort during stressful times, such as during cancer treatment or after the loss of a loved one. Additionally, depression and anxiety levels usually decrease in patients who receive pet therapy. This is one reason therapy animal visits to college campuses have been increasing in popularity: the presence of therapy animals reduces student stress and anxiety and increases happiness. Pet therapy can be beneficial virtually anywhere including schools, hospitals and even the workplace.
Children are particularly receptive to pet therapy and may receive the greatest benefit. Simply having an animal in the room during a therapy session can make children more likely to open up and communicate to a therapist. Therapy animals help reduce stress and promote relaxation in children during doctor visits, making it easier for providers to examine or treat children. Additionally, children with speech or literacy impediments may increase their skills if a therapy animal is present during practice.
While this treatment is great for children, pet therapy is beneficial for people of all ages. No matter what condition an individual is facing, engaging with a therapy animal can increase both mental and physical health. Ask your provider how to incorporate pet therapy into your life.
Many adoptable animals are already spayed or neutered and up-to-date on their shots, meaning you won’t need to make a large up-front investment.
(Family Features) Pets have an incomparable ability to improve owners’ lives in a number of ways, so it’s only right that pet parents do the same for them. That’s why, if you’re considering adding a pet to the family, adoption can be a great choice.
Through pet adoption, you can not only help save dogs and cats from homelessness, but also have the opportunity to experience a lifetime of laughs, snuggles and memories. To unite pet owners with their new furry best friends this year, Mars Petcare celebrated its 10th annual adoption weekend, furthering the Mars Petcare purpose of A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™.
Consider these benefits of pet adoption and learn more at bettercitiesforpets.com.
Grooming is more than an attractive hairdo; every breed, regardless of size, age or coat type, needs regular grooming for overall wellbeing…….
(Family Features) While a haircut is often the first thing that comes to mind when pet parents contemplate a visit to the groomer, those visits can involve much more than a bath and trim. It can also include spa-like skin and paw treatments, deep moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for healthy skin and a lustrous coat, de-shedding and flea or tick treatments. These treatments are all in addition to the expert clipping, shaving and nail trims you might expect.
Grooming is more than an attractive hairdo; every breed, regardless of size, age or coat type, needs regular grooming for overall wellbeing and to help prevent problems such as excessive shedding, skin and paw irritation, painful mats and bad breath. For certain longer-haired breeds, more frequent grooming may be necessary.
While grooming is a necessity, it may sound more pleasant to pet parents than pets, especially dogs that are new to the experience or don’t visit the groomer regularly.
“While a day at the groomer is enjoyable for some pets, others may feel nervous or out of their comfort zones,” said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “Frequent visits are key to a less stressful experience and visiting the same trusted salon associate each time can help your pet build a connection and foster a relationship, making each visit more pleasant.”
Freeman also recommends flagging any pre-existing conditions with your groomer beforehand. This is especially important because grooming can elicit excitement or stress in some pets and aggravate underlying health issues like heart disease.
“Talk to your groomer about any known health concerns so he or she can be sure to watch out for signs of distress,” Freeman said. “For some pets, the stress of a visit to the salon can trigger an adverse clinical event due to pre-existing conditions. Salon associates care about the overall well-being of each pet. Talking to them about underlying health issues makes the grooming associates aware of any special needs and, in some cases, may even lead them to recommend holding off on grooming for the health and safety of the pet.”
Freeman also offers these tips for pet parents:
Find more advice for creating a safe and enjoyable grooming experience for your pet and learn about upcoming events where you can check out grooming options in your community at services.petsmart.com.
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.
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.
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:
Seasonal decorations can also pose a threat:
Don’t forget the fun
Despite some concerns, Halloween can still provide fun moments for your pet:
Find more tips and tricks for keeping your pets safe this Halloween at PetSmart.com.
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.