Celebrating our bond with animals

I mentioned in a previous post last week (Vote for Roxsy!) about the photo contest that the Humane Society is having in honor of February Spay/Neuter month. The contest goes on until March 6th.

Whenever I have a few minutes, I go on to the site (http://www.spaydayusa.org/) and read some of the descriptions written by people who posted pictures of their pets (there are now over 18,000 pictures posted).

What a love fest it is to read these descriptions. I highly recommend checking it out. Just mouse over the picture to read about the animal and also see a picture image.

Senior Living facilities make pets mandatory

I read the neatest story about a senior living facility called Silverado Senior Living, which has locations throughout California, Texas and Utah. They care mostly for seniors with some type of dementia and attribute the health gains that they are seeing in the residents to their mandatory animal rule:

The rule requires atleast 1 dog and one cat for every 25 residents, 1 bird for every 4 residents, and an aquarium for every 40 people.

Part of everyone’s daily schedule involves grooming, walking, feeding and caring for the animals. Noticeable benefits among the residents include heightened self-esteem and lessening of depression. This contributes significantly to improved mental and physical well-being.

The majority of the animals who live at the facilities are adopted from rescue groups. Very cool.

Preventing Dog Urinary Tract Infections

There are some really basic things that every caregiver can do to help prevent canine urinary tract infections:

** provide plenty of fresh water and make sure that your dog is drinking enough every day

**allow frequent access outside so that your dog can urinate and prevent bacteria from building up in the bladder

**walk at least once a day as this will stimulate your dog’s bladder

**bathe with a gentle, high quality shampoo with natural ingredients

Despite the best of care, the truth is that urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are quite common in dogs — and they can exist for sometime before anyone notices signs of illness. And the longer the infection lasts, the more severe it can become…sometimes infecting other organs. So your dog may be very ill by the time you are aware that something is wrong.

Using preventative health care measures (like ThePetCheckup monthly) can avoid many of the problems associated with urinary tract infections.

Good news in the war against fleas

I just read about an interesting study on flea control done by Ohio State University.

In studying the cat flea, the researchers found that 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas are destroyed by vacuuming.

Pretty amazing statistics for those of us who do not want to use chemical flea control on our dogs and cats. The study was repeated several times and they got the same results each time.

Apparently, the brushes on the vacuum damage the waxy outer layer of the fleas–they become dehydrated and die.

Vacuuming, flea combing and the use of diatomaceous earth are the cornerstones of my flea control in the summer and fall.

Looks like I will be doing even more vacuuming this summer!!

Vote for Roxsy

In honor or February Spay/Neuter month, the Humane Society of the U.S. is sponsoring a pet photo contest.

Among other prizes, the winning entry gets to award a $5000.00 grant to a humane organization.

Our spay/neuter program (CCSNAP) is represented by Roxsy. Check out http://www.noahsark.org/
for instructions on how to vote for Roxsy.

We can really use the grant to help animals in need in southeast Iowa.


Dog and Cat food recalls update

It looks like there are still recalls out on some dog and cat foods. This is a link to the latest list that I have been able to find. It was updated the end of January 2008.