Researchers are predicting 2017 will be one of the worst years for ticks that we have seen in quite some time — and by all indications, those researchers are correct. People who have found themselves pulling ticks off their pets, children and their own bodies can readily attest to this. The question is, what to do?
While the tick population may be booming and becoming an increasing problem, there are effective measures you can take to prevent them from getting on you and your loved ones.
1. Cover up. One of the easiest ways to keep ticks off of you when you're hiking in tall grass or a wooded area is to make sure you and your family wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes. You may think dressing this way during warmer months is anything but comfortable, but if you dress in lightweight, breathable clothing, you’ll be surprised at how cool you can stay.
2. Keep up with your yard. Ticks love a messy yard. They seek out tall grass, patches of weeds and unkempt gardens. Take the time to keep your lawn cut, remove any loose debris and keep the weeds out of your garden. Areas you want to be particularly concerned about are around patios, play areas and anywhere people congregate or pets explore.
3. Protect your yard. Ticks and other pests may seem like an insurmountable problem, almost impossible to avoid or get rid of. But rest easy knowing there is a solution to help protect against these blood-feeding pests. Whether you’re concerned about protecting your family’s health from tick-borne illnesses or need help controlling an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to come in and assess the situation. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) can help you find a qualified, local expert to identify and treat your tick problem.
4. Wear insect repellent. Just like you make it a habit to always apply sunscreen when going out on a bright, beautiful day, get in the habit of applying insect repellent any time you are out in an area that might harbor ticks. To be effective, make sure the insect repellent contains at least 20 percent DEET.
5. Perform regular inspections. At the end of the day, take the time to comb through your pet's fur and check them for ticks, even if they are wearing a tick collar. Also, don't forget to do a check on yourself and your children. Since it usually takes between 24 and 48 hours for a tick to attach to a host and transmit diseases like Lyme disease, it’s important to remove them quickly.
To learn more about ticks or other common pests, visit www.pestworld.org. There you’ll find a wealth of information and resources that will help you and your family have a safe and tick-free year.
As scorching temperatures fade and pest season passes, pet owners may breathe a sigh of relief. Although the seasonal risks of summer are gone, your four-legged friend may need some special attention this autumn, as well.
Cold-weather pests. Though the dangers associated with ticks, mosquitos and other creepy, crawly critters lessen as the temperatures drop, those same colder days bring other creatures scurrying inside and that can present a whole new set of problems. Rats and mice tend to migrate indoors in search of warmth and the poisons used to eliminate them can be highly toxic to pets. Be sure pesticides are used in areas inaccessible to your animals.
Stay alert. Ticks may be less prevalent in the fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone completely – especially if hospitable environments remain. Keep yard and garden debris to a minimum and continue administering repellents for any pets that spend time outdoors.
On the move. Seasonal changes mean wildlife is on the move, making changes to settle into winter. Snakes are often more mobile during autumn months and inexperienced pets may risk bites if they tangle with intruders.
Shiny, new things. Kids aren’t the only ones attracted to a collection of new school supplies. Curious pets may dive into a pile of crayons, markers, rulers and other supplies, and although the items likely aren’t toxic, they can result in digestive blockages or damage from sharp, broken edges.
Anticipate energy needs. Colder temperatures can mean your pet has to exert more energy to keep warm and that may warrant bumping up meal serving sizes. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate feeding amounts for your pet’s specific breed, health and lifestyle needs.
Auto-related issues. Many car owners use the change of season as a milestone for car maintenance and winterizing, such as changing oil or antifreeze. Antifreeze in particular is highly toxic; a small quantity can kill pets and, unfortunately, the sweet smell makes it quite attractive to curious creatures. Clean spills thoroughly and take added precaution by keeping pets away from your work area entirely while handling these substances.
Not so fun-gus. Damp conditions can bring about a surge of mushrooms. Although only a small percentage of mushrooms are toxic, they can be hard to distinguish from the non-toxic variety. A good rule of thumb: keep pets clear of areas where mushrooms may be found, or if that’s not possible, conduct regular checks and remove any temptation that pops up.
Comfort foods. Most pet owners know chocolate is dangerous for pets, but many other foods that are common in the fall can also be problematic. Keep pets away from rich, savory foods that can upset their digestion and leave Fido at home during your annual jaunt to the apple orchard; apple stems, seeds and cores can create plenty of digestive havoc. If you want to indulge your pet with a little seasonal flavor, instead try offering fresh or canned pumpkin.
Source: Family Features. Find more pet parenting tips for fall and all year long at eLivingToday.com.
September is Happy, Healthy Cat Month!
Cats and kittens can get hiccups, just like humans do. The sound may be different but the reason why they get them is scientifically the same. Cats, like humans, have a diaphragm muscle that can suddenly contract and involuntarily react to irritation, resulting in hiccups.
While it is a normal behavior among cats, a cat owner should also be cautious because not all noises or hiccup-like sounds that your feline pet creates are hiccups. Some may be a cause of more serious health problems.
Here are some important facts you need to know:
How can you prevent your cat from getting hiccups?
To control or minimize it, next time try to elevate her food dish or cat bowl. Since your cat exerts more effort to get her food, it will make your cat eat slowly, which may help prevent “normal” hiccups, which are caused from eating too fast.
Pet Article courtesy of pet-articles.blogspot.com.
It’s a warm summer day — the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the scent of blooming flowers fills the air. As a pet owner, you’re probably planning to take your dog on a walk, maybe even several. Meanwhile, your cat has found that sunny space underneath the windowsill.
If so, then you already know how much cats and dogs enjoy basking in the sun, but just like people, over-exposure to heat can cause our furry friends to become varied versions of themselves. And too often signs of dehydration, which frequently appear in the form of lethargy, dry mouth and loss of appetite, are confused with run-of-the-mill exhaustion.
Considering all the things we do know about our pets, it’s hard to believe that we wouldn’t recognize the symptoms that accompany something as serious as dehydration. But the truth is that unless you know which indicators to look for, it can be easy to misdiagnose. That’s why the experts at PetSafe have compiled a list of tips and tricks for making sure your pet is experiencing healthy hydration all year long.
Keeping them hydrated
Water is without a doubt the single most important resource you can provide your animal, especially during hot summer months. Whether outside or inside, dogs and cats should consume around one ounce of water per pound each day. In other words, if you have a 20-pound terrier or a 20-pound tomcat, they should have access to at least 20 ounces of cool, clean drinking water every day.
It’s also important to remember that liquid can evaporate quickly in high temperatures, so if your pet’s water source is outside it’s best to check on the amount of available water several times throughout the day or consider purchasing an auto-fill watering bowl like the Drinkwell(R) Everflow Indoor/Outdoor Fountain by PetSafe.
How do I detect dehydration in my pet?
The observable signs of dehydration will frequently include one of more of the following symptoms:
Treatment and prevention
If your dog or cat exhibits any of these behaviors or symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary attention where they will likely monitor the body temperature of your pet.
To prevent dehydration, pet parents should consider taking active measures to encourage pets to drink more water. Products like PetSafe Brand Pet Fountains are designed to continually circulate and filter water. This not only provides dogs and cats with a steady source of fresh water, but relieves owners of the constant hassle of refilling the bowl. Plus, the sound of flowing water tends to trigger an animal’s desire to drink more.
With proper care and precaution, your pet can enjoy every season — even summer — while staying happy, healthy and hydrated. Visit PetSafe.com to find more great tips, products and articles on pet care.
(Family Features) When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
It’s an exciting world for puppies with lots to learn and discover. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy.
Taking proactive steps now to protect your pup can help save time and money later in life, but most importantly, it can lead to a healthy, happy life for your furry friend.
Learn more about flea and tick control and pet safety at adamspetcare.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Adams Flea & Tick
As the weather warms up, many people like to take their dogs for long walks or let their cats frolic outside. While you're having fun in the sun, however, pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can tag along for the ride.
These pests can be a real nuisance, irritating your pet's skin or even causing disease. To help keep your pets happy and healthy, Mark Beavers, Ph.D., Orkin entomologist, offers these tips on protecting your furry friends from biting pests during the summer season.
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes all draw blood from their hosts at some point in their lifecycle, and Beavers said spotting the adults is the easiest way to tell if your pet has been affected.
Prevention and Treatment
Beavers advises taking these steps at home to reduce the number of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes on your property:
To keep pests out of your home and away from your pets, work with your pest management provider to create a prevention and treatment plan. For more pest prevention tips, or to bring in a professional to assess your pest activity, visit Orkin.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Orkin | Family Features
With increased dangers like infectious bugs, poisonous plants and more time around water, plus the threat of heat itself, summer is an important time to make sure your pets are ready. Start with a few simple tips that can help ensure safety throughout the summer months.
Keep them hydrated. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl both inside and outside is critical during summertime. While you’re on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container.
Protect against bugs. Ticks and other pesky bugs can cause headaches when the weather warms and you and your furry friends spend more time outside. Help keep those bugs away with preventative treatments, and be sure to check your pets closely for ticks after you’ve spent time outdoors.
Groom regularly. One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and help prevent matting and summertime skin irritation is regular grooming. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy top coat.
Provide skin protection. Just like humans, dogs can experience sunburn and even skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply a sunscreen where hair is thin and skin lacks pigment (nose, ears and sensitive areas) every time your dog is outside.
Clean the yard. Before letting dogs, cats or other pets out into the yard to play, check for hazards that can be removed or prevented. Search the yard for poisonous plants, ensure that fences are sturdy and whole, watch the area for possible predators if you own smaller pets and monitor your pet’s outdoor activity.
Check screens. When the temperature is just right, many people love to throw open doors and windows to allow fresh air to rush through screen doors. However, those screens should be checked to ensure that pets can’t push them out or squeeze through a small hole.
Add ID. Whether your pets play outside often or not, it’s a smart investment to add an identification tag to their collars. If they were to ever make a dash for an open gate or find a way outside without attention, an ID can help significantly increase the chances they are returned home safely.
Teach them to swim. Many people increase their time around water during the summer, whether it’s a neighborhood pool, a local pond or a lake. If you plan to bring along a pet, make sure that he or she is comfortable around water and able to swim before partaking in an activity that could potentially frighten your pet.
Make a vacation checklist. Before hitting the road for a fun family getaway, add important pet items to your checklist. Remember that while on a trip, your pet will need food and water, of course, but also may require specific bedding, toys, treats and more.
Summer can provide a great opportunity to spend ample time bonding with pets, but preparing in advance for some of the pitfalls of all of the excitement can ensure that your pet enjoys it just as much as you do. Find more tips and tricks for pet owners at eLivingToday.com.
(Family Features) For pet owners, their dogs, cats and other pets play an important role in bringing added happiness to their lives. As not every dog and cat is as fortunate, you may be looking for ways to give back and help pets in need.
As many as 6-8 million pets enter shelters every year across North America, according to The Humane Society of the United States. There are numerous ways you can help homeless pets and give back, starting with these tips.
Volunteer at Your Local Animal Welfare Organization
“To celebrate 30 years of commitment to helping pets in need, and as a trusted partner to pet parents everywhere, we want to celebrate by giving back even more,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer at PetSmart. “Throughout 2017, every time pet parents purchase any bag of dog or cat food in our stores or online, they can rest assured they are also helping feed pets in need. When their pets eat, pets in need eat, too.”
Foster or Adopt a Pet
Take Care of Pets at Home
Pets give so much to their owners; pay it forward by being a responsible pet parent and giving back to animals in need in your community when possible. Find more ways to get involved at your local shelter or rescue group, and learn more about the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program at Petsmart.com/giveameal.SOURCE:
Halloween can be a fun, family time, but please remember to watch out for your four-legged family members. A number of items related to Halloween can be hazardous to your pets:
Chocolate is popular with people, but your dog is attracted to it as well. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. If you think your dog may have ingested chocolate, signs to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate and in severe cases, seizures.
Raisins can be just as toxic to dogs as chocolate and can cause kidney failure if even small amounts are ingested. Signs of raisin or grape poisoning include vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, excessive or decreased thirst and urination, bad breath and rapid onset kidney failure.
If your dog ingests large amounts of any candy, it can be harmful and lead to pancreatitis, which is potentially fatal. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and is very painful. Pet owners should be aware that clinical signs of pancreatitis may not present for several days after ingestion. Signs include a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and potentially, kidney or organ damage.
Other Halloween hazards include candy wrappers and small toys. These can cause bowel obstruction that may require surgery. Watch for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy. X-rays or even ultrasound may be necessary to diagnose this problem.
You may want your pet to join in the fun and dress up for Halloween. If so, please make sure that the costume does not impair your pet’s vision, hearing, movement or air intake and that it does not have small pieces that could be broken off and ingested. Before dying or coloring your pet’s fur, please consult your veterinarian, as some products can be harmful to pets even if they will not harm people.
If your pet becomes sick or if you think that it may have ingested something harmful, contact your veterinarian immediately. Delays in seeking veterinary help may seriously complicate the problem.
If you reside in the Baton Rouge area, and your pet requires medical care after-hours, you can bring your pet to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertman Drive; the hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and remains open even during holidays and weekends. Please call 225-578-9600 or go to www.lsu.edu/vetmed/veterinary_hospital for more information about the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
For any area in the USA, you can contact the Pet Poison Helpline (http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com), an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, at 800-213-6680. The helpline is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case.
You can also contact the ASPCA for animal poison-related emergencies (http://www.aspca.org/Home/Pet-care/poison-control), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
Please help make this a safe and happy holiday season for all of the members of your family.
Source: The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.
Paradise Pets Magazine