Three Tips to Follow If Your Pet is Scared of Fireworks

The Fourth of July is a fun-filled summer holiday filled with barbecues, camping and of course, fireworks.  While it may seem like a fun idea to take your pooch along to these festivities, dogs are more sensitive to noise than we are and don’t associate the noise and flashes of fireworks with celebrations.  Dogs can be terrified of fireworks and often panic at the loud bangs they produce.

 

If your pet is scared of fireworks, there are several things you can do:

1.  Keep your pet at home.  More pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.  This is usually caused when pets panic from the noise of fireworks and flee to get away from the noise, winding up lost, injured or worse.

Adaptil is a synthetic pheromone that mimics what a mother emits to her pups to help them feel comfort.

2.  Make a safe, quiet space for your pet.  Put their bed and a favorite toy in a quite corner or bedroom in your house.  If their crate is a safe spot, drape a blanket over the top to protect them from any bright lights of the fireworks.  Give them a special treat or bone when they are in their safe spot to help positively reinforce their safe spot.

3.  Increase your dog’s sense of security by using the product Adaptil.  Adaptil is a pheromone that mimics the natural pheromone released by a mother dog to reassure her puppies.  This product can help reduce your pet’s stress level and help them feel more at ease. Adaptil comes in a collar, diffuser, or spray.

 

We hope you all have a safe and fun holiday, and encourage you to take these 3 easy steps to help comfort your pets!

Leptospirosis: Is Your Dog Protected?

LEPTOSPIROSIS: What is it?

Leptospirosis (lepto) is a disease caused by a spiral shaped bacteria. Both humans and animals can be infected with the bacteria.  It is most commonly contracted by drinking contaminated water, including rivers, streams, and even puddles.  The number of canine lepto cases has dramatically risen in recent years.  Today, it is considered the number one infectious cause of acute kidney failure in dogs.

What animals get leptospirosis?

Lepto does not discriminate.  It has been diagnosed in all types of dogs and all breeds and sizes are at risk.   Common carriers include raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, rats and livestock.

How can my pet get leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals, which gets into water or soil and can survive for weeks to months. Animals become infected when they come in direct contact with the contaminated areas. The bacteria enters through cuts in the skin, through eyes, nose or mouth, as well through ingestion of contaminated water or soil (eat or drink it). The bacteria can also be inhaled.

How does leptospirosis affect my animal?

In dogs, leptospirosis can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakness, stiffness, and muscle pain. Each patient is different when it comes to leptospirosis. Some have very few signs and others become very sick. Kidney and liver damage can also occur from this disease.  As mentioned before, it is the number one infectious cause of acute kidney failure in dogs.   In general, young animals tend to be severely affected then older animals.

Can humans get leptospirosis?

YES! Humans can become infected with leptospirosis in ways similar to animals. In addition to touching, inhaling or ingesting contaminated water or soil, humans can also get leptospirosis by coming in contact with infected urine from animals (including dogs).

*** In a recent research study, leptospirosis was found to be one of the top diseases spread from pets to people (this is called a zoonotic disease).

How do I protect my pet and myself from leptospirosis?

Avoiding contact with contaminated areas is one main way to prevent disease, but far too often we cannot know when an area is contaminated.  Discourage your dog from drinking from standing water.

Vaccination is one of the best ways we can help prevent disease. The vaccine protects dogs from the 4 most common serovars (types) of leptospriosis. It is a series of 2 vaccines (3 weeks apart) for the first year, then annually after that. This is one of the best ways to protect you and your pet from this nasty disease!

The Scoop on Litter Box Care

295904_279727655375701_5902803_nProper litter box care is an essential part of proper care for your feline friend.  If your cat is eliminating outside of the litter box, this means there may have an underlying medical condition and you should take your feline to your veterinarian.  If a medical condition is ruled out, there are many things you can do at home to make sure you have the right set up to ensure your cat will use the litter box.

 

How many litter boxes should I have?

The ideal number of litter boxes is one per cat, plus one.  So if you have 2 cats, you should have three litter boxes.  If you have 4 cats, you should have five litter boxes, and so on.

Where should I place my litter boxes?

Litter boxes should be placed in at least two different locations.  If you have multiple levels in your home, consider placing a litter box on each level of the home.  Locations should be private and have easy access.  Avoid noisy appliances and doors that are opened frequently.  Boxes should not be placed next to one another, as cats will only see this as one giant litter box.

What type of litter should I use?

Most cats prefer a fine-grained, unscented litter (e.g., clumping litter).  Many cats prefer a litter depth of approximately 1.5 inches.  Preference may vary by cat.

How often should I clean the litter box?

Boxes should be scooped 1-2 times daily. Litter should be completely changed once a week or more often if a multi-cat household.  Wash litter box with warm, soapy water and dry well before adding new litter.

litter box pic

What kind of litter box should I buy?

Cats prefer litter boxes that are at least 1.5 times the length of their bodies.  Commercial litter boxes are too small for larger cats! Sweater storage boxes, cement mixing tubs and small dog litter pans all make excellent cat litter boxes.

 

Are my cat’s potty habits normal?

The average cat urinates twice daily (+/- 2) and defecates once daily.    Some will sniff and cover their eliminations; others don’t.  Both are considered normal behavior.

Eliminating outside the box often signals an underlying medical condition.  The earlier the problem is corrected, the better the chance for the cat to return to their litter box.