Friday, July 3, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Pet Owner Summer Street Smarts: Fireworks - Playing It at 11


Just a reminder as Independence Day Fireworks are but hours away.

Dogs and cats hear exponentially more than we do - not only volume, but frequencies we can't hear. 

Some pets could care less and for others it is pain and fear beyond belief.

They will gain the strength of 50 football players, contort their bodies in ways you can't begin imagine, squeeze through small spaces, dig under fences, and find anyway they can to escape the loud noises. Electronic containment will not stop a dog from fleeing from fireworks if they are in flight mode.

In addition, and this especially applies to neighborhood fireworks because they are so unexpected, fireworks can have a traumatic effect on veterans with PTSD.



You know your pet. And, they will often take their cues from you - if you aren't bothered by the loud noises, sometimes that's all they need. And, in spite of the day's distractions, be able to recognize when your dog or cat is becoming uncomfortable.

Always Prepare: 
 
1. Leave your pets at home. Don't take them to parades or fireworks. No... really... don't.

2. Keep pets safely indoors in a quiet place. If you have a dog or cat who gets upset about fireworks and loud noises, don't let them have the run of the house, keep them enclosed in their crate, their favorite secure safe place (I have a friend whose dog goes and sits in the bathtub during thunderstorms and fireworks), or in a quiet room. Close curtains and blinds and create white noise or sound therapy via tv, radio, MP3, CD, or by running fans.

There are special dog and cat-oriented sound CD's you can purchase or download from Through a Dog's Ear and Through a Cat's Ear. Or, in greater Westerville, pick up Through a Dog's Ear or Through a Cat's Ear on CD at Raisin Rack. There are also free and really excellent long playing music videos on youtube. I can recommend two that are especially calming:
 
Shamanic Flute and Drum Music. This plays for two hours and is tremendously calming to both cats and dogs (and humans for that matter!).
 
Nature Sounds and Music. This plays for eight hours and is also calming to dogs and cats.
 
3. Don't leave pets unattended outside at all. As a matter of fact, keep them leashed, even when they are in the yard. If your dog uses a dog door, make sure it is locked shut. Maintain a constant awareness as you open and close doors (sliding or hinged) and move from indoors to out.

Don't leave your dog in a vehicle.

4. Stay home with your pet (or have a trustworthy, undistracted family member or pet care professional stay with your dog or cat).

5. Talk with your veterinarian - if your pet is seriously stressed the vet may recommend medication or you can plan ahead and try a calming supplement such as Bach Rescue Remedy (locally, Raisin Rack carries Rescue Remedy and Bach products) or Spirit Essences. Thunder Shirts and Anxiety Wraps are results not typical for success; it just depends on the pet.

6. Exercise your pets throughout the day. Take your dogs on super long walks (be mindful of heat (cool a dog from beneath), bring water with you), keep them in forward motion (if your dog is used to a treadmill, that works great!), and keep them playing and busy and distracted - a tired dog, that's burned off energy through exercise, has none to burn being concerned about fireworks and will more than likely sleep through the fireworks or be unconcerned.

7. Even if they are going to be indoors, why take the chance - get an I.D. tag for your dog or cat (in addition to the license tag) that includes your name, address, and contact info - nowadays you can pop into places like Pet Supplies Plus and make a tag in minutes - and put a collar with the tags on your pet. If your pet has a chip - make sure your contact information is current and still use the tags as backup I.D.

The Franklin County Animal Shelter picks up more lost dogs July 4th week than any other time of the year. Heartbreaking. All lost dogs in Franklin County go to the shelter (4340 Tamarack Blvd - it's right off Morse Road next to Menard's - 614.525.3647). A huge percentage of licensed dogs in Franklin County are reclaimed. Know it's there, but why put yourself and your dog through that.

While I hope you never have to reach out to these resources - PetFBI Central Ohio and Nextdoor for your neighborhood are excellent go-to's.

Have a safe, happy, pet-friendly Red, White, and Bark!! Happy Birthday, America! 




Monday, June 15, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Caveat Emptor - Beneful Dog Food Ongoing


The class action lawsuit against Nestle and Purina for harmful ingredients in Beneful dog food has expanded and includes plaintiffs from Ohio.

The products named in the complaint include Purina Beneful Healthy Weight, Purina Beneful Original, Purina Beneful Incredibites, Purina Beneful Healthy Growth For Puppies, Purina Beneful Healthy Smile, Purina Beneful Healthy Fiesta, Purina Beneful Healthy Radiance and Purina Beneful Playful Life. 

No doubt you're starting to see Nestle/Purina's attempt at the warm and fuzzy with the "we make Beneful and feed our dogs Beneful" commercials.

And, according to Reuters, "The suit also alleges Purina has been contacting injured consumers soon after they post on social media about their dogs getting sick or the dangers of Beneful. Plaintiffs claim that Purina offers some consumers a settlement that requires them to sign an agreement prohibiting any conversations about the settlement or their experiences with Purina.

Despite Purina's aggressive defense of its product, the company is paying pet owners' claims and demanding secrecy. 'Why?' is a question Purina should answer," said Jeff Cereghino, one of the attorneys involved in the class action."

Per the Reuters story, "Symptoms of those affected include stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating and kidney failure, sometimes resulting in death."

More information:


NorthStar Pet: Caveat Emptor - Beneful Dog Food. This post includes helpful links for additional details.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Paddy's Road Trip


Good story. This is the one about the day a UK handyman, named Thomas McCormack, was unexpectedly joined by his dog, Paddy, on a train ride.

But, it seems McCormack had just left Paddy at home safely locked in his yard.

After some investigating, turns out Paddy is a clever, resourceful pup.



NorthStar Pet: Purrfect Health


Interesting food-for-thought in an article on our interaction with our pets and their healing presence in our life from Spirit Science and Metaphysics dot com.

Author Steven Bancarz, observes in his article, Science Proves Cats are Holistic Healers: "Scientific studies have shown time and time again that cats are more than just good pets.  They are extremely therapeutic, and may actually be a good form of medicine for people suffering from heart conditions."
 

A cat's purr can even be medically therapeutic on healing wounds, stress reduction, muscle healing, heart health, bone health, and blood health.

Click here to read the article.


Photograph courtesy of spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com.

Monday, May 18, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Dog Bite Awareness 24.7.365

May 17th through 23rd is Dog Bite Awareness week. 

I have come across knowledge of two situations just within the past few months, where a rescue dog was rehomed (a new client - these are people who were well-intentioned, but more in love with the idea of a family dog, having no knowledge of the realities; it was in the dog's best interest to be rehomed, and I applaud them for seeing that), and a dog was unnecessarily euthanized without a second thought (a story about the family member of a neighbor of a client - sometimes people tell me things I wish I'd never heard, because I can't unhear something) because of a dog bite. Both circumstances escalated because of the pet owners lack of understanding of dogs - dogs as family members and the effort that comes with that, that dogs are not humans, and understanding dog energy, point-of-view, physiology, proxemics, and body language.   

Bringing a dog into a family is more than just a cool idea - you become the guardian of that animal for life - two species who share an environment. 

Every member of the family needs to understand the pets they share a household with.

Having a pet is an enriching experience that cannot be phoned in. It just takes some effort, education, respect... and love.


(Image courtesy of the AVMA on Pinterest.)
 
 



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Spring Forward


Spring forward on March 8th (2 a.m.).

Time zones and calendars are a human construct!

Just a reminder to give yourself and your pets 
a chance to adjust to the time change and 
the resulting change in your schedule.




Sunday, March 1, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Service Dogs for Vets


Meet USMC Veteran Kenny Bass and his service dog, Atlas.

Kenny Bass has started a foundation that  focuses on getting service dogs for veterans.

Learn more:


Sunday, February 22, 2015

NorthStar Pet: You're Home!


Just for you to enjoy,

Coldwell Banker is running this ad tonight during the Oscar telecast.
All the dogs in this ad are rescues! And, this ad is to help 
raise awareness of the Home for Dogs Project.

Source: The Examiner.


NorthStar Pet: Welcome Home K9 Officer Karson


This is a good day.

The lost is FOUND!

After nearly 2 months, Wilmington, Ohio K9 Officer Karson is by his partner's side again. Officer Jerry Popp posted on facebook just a little while ago that Karson is sitting next to him and is found! And, Karson is in good health.

Welcome Home, Karson!

For more info:

K9 Karson on facebook

Update from the Wilmington News Journal by Gary Huffenburger.


Photo courtesy K9 Karson on facebook.

NorthStar Pet: Caveat Emptor - Beneful Dog Food


Serious pet care news: If you are feeding your dog or cat Beneful, please be aware that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Nestle Purina for toxic ingredients in Beneful dog food.

If you are looking to make a change, here is a place to start: Dog Food Advisor.

I recommend taking a look at batch brands like Merrick, Orijen, and Acana.

For more information:

Seattle Dog Spot.

Animal Parents Against Pet Treats and Food Made In China.

Dogington Post.

Top Class Actions. 

Consumer Affairs. 

The Daily Beast.

Rodney Habib, Pet Nutritionist on facebook.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Snow Day!


Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing,
wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; 
there is really no such thing as bad weather, 
only different kinds of good weather.
John Ruskin


Thanks to Lucky Puppy for posting this awesome image!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

NorthStar Pet: Valentine Wishes!


Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, 
how much the heart can hold. 
Zelda Fitzgerald

Wishing you big hugs, purrs, 
wagging tails, snuggles, and unconditional love!
Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NorthStar Pet: My Smelly Valentine


February is Skunk Love Season.

Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks Advise:

Love is in the air in your Metro Parks and it stinks to high heaven as skunk mating season is underway. Skunks spray when around each other this time of year. Females who are not yet ready to breed let the males know they are uninterested with a squirt. Male skunks spritz other males in territorial/mate scuffles. Just keep your distance.

Skunks are both suburban and rural dwellers, so keep a careful eye out when you are driving (especially at dusk and dawn) and on dog walks. You also may see skunks out during the day. I've had one day time skunk encounter - we showed immediate respect and calmly got out of the way - the skunk was more interested in where it was headed, it was aware of us, but did not see us as any kind of threat.

Skunks usually spray as a last resort, when they feel there is no way out, but right now, they are pretty quick to spray.

Learn more:

From NorthStar Pet: Handling Skunk Encounters 


Photo courtesy of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.