Ending pet overpopulation

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I have begun thinking about next February’s Spay/Neuter campaign.

This will be the 5th month-long February campaign I will have run…

Collecting a urine sample from your dog or your cat

Our customers are always sharing with us their methods of collecting urine samples from their dogs and cats for their monthly ThePetCheckup test.

One of my favorites so far is a woman who said she uses the little plastic grease collectors that come with the George Foreman grill.

(Note: if you use this method, be sure to wash the “collectors” in hot water in between tests!!)

Practicing preventative health care with our dogs and cats

One of the great perks about being the owner of a company that sells a preventative health care product for pets is that I get to speak with lots of wonderful people about their dogs and cats.

Our customers tend to be people who share a deep bond with their animal companions. They practice preventative health care and understand the importance of early detection. It is always fun and also illuminating to share different ideas and products that we have found helpful in protecting our animals’ health. I have a bond with so many people throughout the world now who share many of the same values and goals for animals as I do.

Forward Thinking Animal Shelter in D.C.

My sister just sent me a link from USA Today about the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C.

Their shelter recently underwent a huge renovation and built a cutting edge shelter to maximize successful adoptions as well as increase positive interaction with the public.

“Whatever circumstances landed them in a shelter – whether they were strays, abandoned, turned over by terminally ill owners or rescued from inhumane conditions – was traumatic for them,” says Scotlund Haisley, the executive director who persuaded his board to support a $4 million renovation. Every detail is intended not to pamper animals but to simply respond to their basic needs during the time when they have no home, no family and no ability to see or hope beyond the present.

With the in-residence animals experiencing less stress, remarkable things have been happening.

Adoptions have tripled since the renovation. And the atmosphere is so welcoming they are finding that people from the community come during their lunch breaks just to spend time with the animals.

Stories like this make me think there is really hope for the human race!

Rescue Waggin’ Comes to Iowa

For the past 4 years I have been volunteer spay/neuter coordinator for Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation in Fairfield, IA. There is a small group of very dedicated people who are doing wonderful work helping animals in this area. I never cease to be amazed at what people can accomplish when they work together for a higher purpose.

We had some especially great news this month.

Petsmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ accepted Noah’s Ark into their program. Rescue Waggin’ is a program that was started three years ago. They take dogs from overcrowded shelters in the midwest and northeast and then transport them to shelters in cities where the demand for adoptable dogs is high. Since they started this program, over 13,000 dogs have been transported and adopted!

The Waggin’ will be transporting Noah’s Ark dogs to the Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee, WI. Unbelievably, the wait time for adoption at this shelter is only 24-48 hours.

Noah’s Ark is the first shelter in Iowa to become part of the Waggin’.

Well done everyone……

The Sugar Cube that Never Melts

My favorite nickname for my cat Chloe is Pops. It is actually short for Sugarpops.

If you knew her, you would see why. She is a small, all white cat with beautiful gold eyes and a tiny pink nose. Ever since she was rescued as a tiny kitten, she has been the sweetest presence in the house. I call her my sugar cube that never melts.

Kate’s nickname is Loretta. She was rescued from a feral cat feeding station and for the first year she lived with us, she did her own thing. She was always on the go and seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do. The name Loretta just seemed to fit.

She has changed quite a bit since that first year, though. She connects much more with people now and is always the first one to greet whoever walks through the door. And she loves to be massaged and brushed. She probably needs a new nickname now, but I don’t plan on changing it. She’ll always be Loretta to me.

What about your animal companions? I would love to hear how they got their names –or nicknames!

Chloe has a bout with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Several months ago I had gotten so busy with work that I neglected to do a monthly ThePetCheckup test on Chloe and Kate.

Sure enough, Chloe developed litter box problems. She would go in the box but could not pee. Kate would stand next to the box, wide-eyed, staring at me with a look that could only be interpreted as “something is wrong with Chloe and you had better take action quick!”

A trip to the vet and some medication solved the problem pretty quickly. We were lucky that it was caught early. But there was no real diagnosis as to the origin of the problem. Some research I did showed that for least 50% of cats with FLUTD the cause of the illness remains undetermined. Sometimes it is called FiLUTD or Feline Ideopathic Urinary Tract Disease, or Ideopathic Cystitis. It can quickly develop into something serious, so should be treated right away.

Once again, I was reminded how significant the role ThePetCheckup plays in keeping Chloe and Kate healthy.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Several months ago I had gotten extremely busy with work and neglected to do a monthly ThePetCheckup test on the kitties.
Sure enough, Chloe started to have litter box problems. She would go into her box but could not pee. Kate stood next to the box and looked at me wide-eyed. Her expression could only mean one thing–“something’s not right with Chloe and you better take action quick!!”.
The problem was solved with a trip to the vet and some medication although it was never really diagnosed as to what exactly Chloe had. Research I did showed that 50% of cats with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease will not have a cause that can be determined. Sometimes the situation is called FiLUTD or Feline Idiopathic Urinary Tract Disease.
I was really lucky that it was caught so early. And again, it reinforced what a valuable role ThePetCheckup plays in keeping my animals healthy.

Pet home urine test reveals critical signs of illness

People are often surprised when they learn the range of illnesses that a pet urinalysis test can indicate.

A urine test for dogs and cats can show indications of some of the most common illnesses that affect our dog’s and cat’s health, including: diabetes, kidney infection, kidney disease, urinary tract infection, bladder disease, autoimmune diseases, bacterial infections, hepatitis and other liver diseases, and prostate diseases.

Of course, there are many illnesses that are revealed through other methods of testing: heart conditions, tumors, skin diseases, arthritic conditions, and many cancers for example. No one test can test for everything that can happen with our pet’s health.

Still, a urinalysis test for dogs and cats is an important foundation of the yearly health checkup, so I always encourage people to have a urine test done at the veterinary clinic every 6 or 12 months (and, of course, use ThePetCheckup at home on a monthly basis!).

Preparing your dogs and cats for a potential emergency evacuation

With all the wacky weather we have been having in Iowa this summer, I decided to organize things in case I ever needed to evacuate the house quickly with the kitties ~ Chloe and Kate.

Luckily they are both healthy and pretty flexible (well, Kate is anyway).

I did some research and came up with the following list in preparation for an unexpected evacuation. The most important thing being to always take your animal friend with you. Leaving a dog tied outside is a death sentence.

**Plan to be away from home for at least 3 days.

**Have a sturdy carrier large enough for your animal to stand, turn around and lie down.
Put a label on the carrier with the animal’s name, your name and cell phone number. List any problems or medical conditions on the label.

**Have non-perishable items in the carrier: canned food, food and water bowls, cat litter and litter box, a familiar toy, bedding, medical records, sturdy leash.

** Keep perishable items at hand and ready to go: dry food, medications, water

**Identification: have a collar and license of ID tag on at all times.

Chloe and Kate don’t have ID’s on their collars..so that is something that I need to get done. Then I think we will be all set.

I also ordered (they are free) emergency stickers for the front and back door (in case there is an emergency and I am not home) alerting rescue people to the fact that there are animals inside the house. They can be ordered from here: