How to Help Scaredy Dogs That Hate Storms

Some dogs become terrified during storms. Is it the electricity, the vibration, or the noise? Can’t say for sure, but creating a safety ritual can help.

A new product just made available is the ThunderShirt. Whatever the situation that makes your dog anxious, fearful, reactive or over-excited, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure can bring calm and focus back to your dog. A terrific solution for many types of anxiety including thunder, fireworks, separation, travel, and crate anxieties. And a terrific solution for eliminating “bad leash manners” such as barking, pulling or reactivity towards other animals and people.

If you have a house with a cinder block basement, taking your dog down there to sit with you often will make him feel more secure. Keeping a tent in the basement for him to crawl in completes the safety cave. If you do not have a basement, try taking your dog in the shower stall or letting him sit in the tub. Tile walls and ceramic structures seem to have a calming effect.

If you consistently help your dog refuge in the same safe spot, he’ll learn to go there himself when he needs to calm down.
Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Dog Training Shock Collars and Bark Collars

Pet Health Alert: Iams Announces Voluntary Recall of Cat and Kitten Food

On June 9, Procter & Gamble announced that it is recalling specific lots of Iams canned cat food as a precautionary measure. The affected products include all varieties of Iams ProActive Health canned cat and kitten food in 3- and 5.5-ounce cans and with expiration dates—printed on the bottom of the can—from 09/2011 to 06/2012.

Tests indicate the recalled cat food contained insufficient levels of thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Thiamine is an essential vitamin for cats—it supports the central nervous system—and an ongoing dietary deficiency can lead to neurological problems from mild loss of balance to life-threatening seizures. Other symptoms of thiamine deficiency include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, mental dullness, dilated pupils, increased respiratory rate and low body temperature.

The ASPCA urges all pet parents to make sure they are not feeding the recalled products to their cats, and to discard any cans with the aforementioned characteristics. If you suspect your pet may have ingested a recalled product, please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. For information about a product refund, please call Proctor & Gamble at (877) 340-8826.

To learn the latest news about pet food recalls, please visit the FDA online.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Dog Training Shock Collars and Bark Collars

Nursing a Sick Dog

Occasionally, dogs require extra attention when they are sick. If they have acquired an illness, an injury or have been through surgery, nursing will help his recovery. There are certain methods to effectively nursing a sick dog. It is a vital service you can provide to your sick pet.

A sick dog will often have a high fever that needs attention. Feed your dog bread pieces while avoiding heavy meat products. Stick to vegetarian meals during the initial stages of recovery.

Chicken soup broth or beef broth is a good meat substitute until the fever breaks. As the dog regains strength, begin adding more solid and nutritious foods. Do not give a sick dog human food or junk food as these put more stress on his system.

The type of food and frequency you feed your dog will depend on what made him sick. If he had surgery or had some sort of blockage, be sure to check with your veterinarian as to proper feeding. If the digestive tract was involved, a special diet might be required.

Keep your dog comfortable in a calm area that is warm and away from drafts. Provide soft bedding. If arthritis is present, this will help tremendously. You can also purchase specially-designed bedding for dogs with arthritis.

After administering any medications, keep the dog quiet so they can have the maximum effect. Take time to sit with the dog and show some affection to help ease the stress his body and mind are enduring.

Do not raise the dog’s head too much when administering the drugs as this can cause the medications to go into his respiratory organs, putting your dog at further risk of developing pneumonia.

Be sure to feed your dog warm fluids regularly during the recovery process. These will keep him hydrated and help fight infections. It will also help his body to better utilize any drugs that are prescribed.

If the dog has severe diarrhea, dehydration can occur. This can be combated by giving him a mixture of salt and glucose water. You can give your dog ice cubes or egg whites to help ease the oesophageal passage when vomiting is present.

Monitor the dog’s body temperature. There are several thermometers available that you can use. Ask your veterinarian for one that he would recommend for your dog’s particular condition.

Keep the dog in an area where the temperature can be regulated safely. Do not put your sick dog in front of a fan or an air conditioner as this will trigger further illness and possibly pneumonia. Put him in a well ventilated space where he feels comfortable and safe.

If the dog is suffering from hypothermia, provide him with warm blankets.

Give your dog all the attention you can spare. Knowing that you have not abandoned him will help him to get through the fear and stress of being sick. Do not try to play as he will not be strong enough or interested. Simply stroke him and show him you care. By providing physical contact, you will speed up his healing process.

This article is courtesy of RadioFence.com a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Springtime Safety Tips

Springtime is just around the corner, but the gentle season could prove to be not so kind to curious pets and unknowing pet owners.

A host of risks present themselves to dogs, cats and other companion animals, and pet parents should be able to identify these potential harms in order to keep the spring days bright, sunny, and fun for all.

The list of toxic, common household items might surprise even the most veteran, conscientious owners.

Lilies, sago palm, azalea, rhododendron, tulips, daffodils and chrysanthemums are all toxic for pets. If a cat, in particular, ingests just bit of a lily, it could lead to kidney failure. Keeping indoor plants and flowers at hard-to-reach distances could be one solution, but just to be safe, owners may want to abstain from planting these and a few other flora all together.

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received approximately 7,858 calls in 2009 reporting ingestion of one of the aforementioned plants and flowers. That number was out of the 195,000 calls the APCC received in total last year.

The APCC released these figures, and the most common culprits for pet poisonings, in anticipation of National Poison Prevention Week, which runs from March 14 to 20. Perhaps it’s not coincidental that the week coincides with the seasonal shift, as well as with the lead-up preparations for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.

As owners venture outside more to beautify their gardens and treat their hard, dried land, they should also remain aware of the harm that certain types of fertilizer and garden products can inflict on their outdoor pets. Last year, the ASPCA responded to 2,329 calls related to fertilizer exposure, which can cause gastrointestinal obstruction and “severe gastric upset.”

Consuming flower bulbs, in particular, could result in a painful, unpleasant experience for both pets and their concerned owners.

Aside from the consumption of seemingly innocent, but truly dangerous, typical household and garden items, pets might also fall victim to one of spring’s more common, yet ultimately benign ailments: allergies.

Yes, pets can feel the effects of allergies,  but will exhibit symptoms slightly differently from how humans do.

When animals inhale certain pollen they tend to get itchy skin, lick at their feet, chew at the base of their tail and get a rash. We don’t know exactly what the culprit is, but we recommend certain types of testing and treatment for animals with severe allergies.

Flea and tick treatments like Frontline and Revolution could help prevent skin discomfort, as well as protect pets from unwanted bug bites and infestations.

Yet pet owners should use only dog products for dogs, and cat products for cats – this tip might sound obvious, but as owners sometimes throw the tubes into a drawer without the box, and then don’t read the instructions carefully, it’s important to keep in mind.

This article is courtesy of RadioFence.com a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

New Canine Cancer Studies Announced — Dogs Needed

This announcement comes from the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

The Van Andel Research Institute, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is pleased to share that we have received a “Grand Opportunities” (GO) grant from the National Institutes of Health. This is enabling the Institute to expand its canine cancer studies, which started with a project investigating hemangiosarcoma in Clumber spaniels 18 months ago, into a much broader research program.

We are launching a new center of excellence in canine genetics and genomics. The first and most important program is the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium (CHCC), which is headed by Drs. Jeff Trent (TGen), Nick Duesbery (Van Andel Research Institute), and Paul Meltzer (National Cancer Institute/NIH). The program is an unprecedented alliance of scientists, veterinarians and physicians.

Drs. Duesbery and Froman are intensely focused on recruiting canine cancer patients for the study through a variety of clinical outreach programs. Samples from canine patients will not only allow the researchers to identify genes responsible for breed-specific susceptibilities (such as hemangiosarcoma in Clumber spaniels and osteosarcoma in Greyhounds), but also to translate these discoveries into new and more precise diagnostics and therapeutics for both canine and human cancer patients. The ultimate goal is to take personalized medicine for dogs to unscaled heights!

The CHCC has been developed to investigate five initial cancers in dogs, which also affect people. The first five cancers we’ll be researching are:

  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant histiocytosis
  • Melanoma (oral and digital)

In order to move forward, we need your help. The Institute will be studying only naturally occurring tumors, so we need the assistance of owners with dogs who develop any of the above types of cancer. We are requesting fresh (NOT in formalin) tumor samples when the dog has surgery, a biopsy, or is euthanized. We also need 3 mls of blood in an EDTA (purple top) tube. If a tumor sample is not immediately available (a dog who has had surgery, for example), a blood sample is still useful.

If your dog is scheduled for surgery, please contact VARI ahead of time so we can FedEx a tumor collection kit to your veterinarian. You can contact the CHCC at 616.234.5569. You may also email Dr. Froman at roe.froman@vai.org. Consent forms and more information for veterinarians can be accessed and downloaded from our website, www.vai.org/helpingdogs. In addition, we are collecting DNA samples from a wide variety of healthy, purebred dogs, for use as controls. Your help is greatly appreciated.