Dog Health

ASPCA's Holiday Survival Guide

ID-10034507The holiday season may be a wonderful time for getting together and celebrating family and friends but, sadly, it can also be a time when we overlook holiday hazards for our pets.

The ASPCA has published a brief "holiday survival guide" that outlines some of the primary hazards, including unsafe medications, holiday goodies that are "baddies" for pets, and holiday plants that can cause illness. Also included are the "Big 5 Holiday Dangers" according to the ASPCA Poison Control Center.

Keep all of your pets safe this holiday season. Download this handy one page survival guide below at the link below (PDF).

Download HolidaySurvivalGuide

Image: Photostock, Freedigitalphotos.net


New Canine Nutrition Resource

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The Pet Food Institute (PFI), whose members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treat products, recently launched a new series of interactive infographics showing the ways the key nutrients found in a complete and balanced dog food recipe help our pets. The new web resource, 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail,' provides fast facts about the essential nutrition that fuels our dogs' growth and supports their body systems, as well as non-essential nutrients that can also serve important functions. 

 "PFI's new 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' resource was designed to assist pet lovers in understanding how a carefully formulated recipe will help their dog," said Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of PFI. 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' shows the ways that the essential nutrients support pet health, for example by providing energy or promoting vision or healthy joints, and also reviews other important non-essential but functional nutrients such as carbohydrates. 

Check out this free resource here: https://www.petfoodinstitute.org/pet-food-matters/nutrition-2/nutrition-nose-tail/


Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

More pet parents today than ever before are showing interest in pet insurance due to the rising cost of pet care. The first pet to be insured in the USA was a female Rough Collie dog and TV star Lassie, back in 1982. As the number of pet owners increase, there has been a huge upsurge in the number of companies offering pet insurance, particularly in North America.
 
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An APPA (American Pet Products Association) study estimates that in 2017, veterinary care in the US cost $16.62 billion to pet owners, and they paid $14.93 billion for over-the-counter medicine for their cats and dogs. Today,an estimated 1.8 million pets are insured in the United States with annual premiums averaging between $163 per pet to $496 per pet, depending on the insurance plan.
 
Pet insurance can be very helpful in saving money on routine check-ups, medicine and vitamins, and surgical bills. But the problem many pet owners face is the abundance of choices, with different rules and regulations, and every company’s plan being slightly different. So do you pick a pet insurance plan that’s right for you and your four-legged companion? 
 
It all comes down to asking the right questions and comparing the most important aspects of each pet insurance policy. TopDogTips.com magazine has put together an infographic with a large list of pet insurance tips and sample questions you can ask your future insurance provider that will help you narrow down the best choices.
 
You'll find this helpful resource here: https://topdogtips.com/pet-health-insurance-tips/ 

Walk-in Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic - Greenville, SC

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 4.44.26 PMGreenville Humane Society operates a walk-in vaccine clinic at their new medical facility, 305 Airport Road in Greenville, SC. The clinic is open from 9 AM to 12 PM Monday through Friday and from 9 AM to 12 PM the first Saturday of each month. No appointment is needed. Call (864) 263-5611 for information. The clinic offers the following low-cost services:

Vaccine Price
1-Year Rabies Vaccine $9
3-Year Rabies Vaccine $25
1-Year Canine/Puppy Distemper/Parvo-DHPP $9
3-Year Canine Distemper/Parvo-DHPP $25
Canine Kennel Cough-Bordatella $15
Heartworm Antigen Test (dogs) $25
Feline Distemper Vaccine $9
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Vaccine $15
Feline Leukemia/FIV Combo Test $26

5 Parasites and Diseases to Watch Out For

Guest Post by Allivet

Let's say you're going canine cruising (aka "on a dog-friendly road trip"). Whether you're heading to Lake James State Park or Mt. Mitchell, your best friend will have a blast--and perhaps come home with a muddy, wet coat.

Before you take your dog on the adventure of a lifetime, learn about some of the microscopic dangers that await in the Carolina mountains. (They could be more dangerous than bears!)

Here are five scary diseases and parasites to look out for--and what you can do to stop them from infecting your four-legged pal.

1. Leptospirosis

A common waterborne disease, leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria leptospira. It's found within lakes, streams and wet soil in the Carolinas. It's spread through animal urine.

The dangers of leptospirosis can be severe. As Katie Gibson, DVM, writes, "leptospirosis can enter your pet's body through the eyes, nose, mouth or cuts on the skin," and it can be life-threatening if left untreated. Most often, dogs recover well with antibiotics and supportive care.

Symptoms are vague, but can include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, decreased appetite and general weakness. As an owner, be aware of the risk of leptospirosis, and act immediately if you suspect your dog has been infected. Dogs can infect humans with this.

2. Blue-Green Algae

Although the name sounds cool, blue-green algae (aka cyanobacteria) can be very dangerous to come into contact with. It's dangerous when a blue-green algae harmful algal bloom occurs, which are over-growths that can produce harmful toxins in lakes and other bodies of water. This typically happens during times of bright sunlight (summer) and when the water isn't moving much.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the "algae can cause skin irritation or respiratory irritation" and "some blooms of blue-green algae can produce chemicals that are toxic to animals and people who drink the untreated water." So, symptoms range from rashes and skin irritation to respiratory failure and death.

Look for blue-green algae before letting your dog go play in the water. It can look reddish-brown or even bright-green (or just blue-green, as the name suggests).

3. Giardiasis

The Mayo Clinic states that giardia infection is "one of the most common causes of waterborne disease in the United States," as the "parasites are found in backcountry streams and lakes."

If you head into the wilderness with your dog, giardia is something to be aware of. Your dog can ingest it by drinking from a puddle or stream. All it takes is a contaminated water source.

Symptoms include diarrhea and dehydration. The good news is that giardia isn't as serious as some of the other parasites and diseases on this list. Typically, antibiotics and a dewormer are enough to cure it.

4. Cryptosporidiosis

The parasite and disease are both commonly called "crypto" among experts. In simple terms, cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by parasites of the genus cryptosporidium. The primary symptom is diarrhea, which will be easy to notice.

The issue is that infection can be hard to stop. As the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services notes, "crypto may be found in soil, food, water or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals."

Beyond diarrhea, symptoms your dog may also experience when infected include fever, vomiting and dehydration. Generally speaking, with proper treatment, your dog won't be sick for more than a week or two with cryptosporidiosis.

5. Campylobacteriosis

Caused by campylobacter, campylobacteriosis is the reason for common food poisoning. 

When out in nature, dogs will drink water contaminated with the bacteria. Although it usually affects puppies that are six months or younger, you should still look out for it if your dog is older. Symptoms include diarrhea, high fever and loss of appetite.

What's reassuring to know is that, for the vast majority of cases, your dog can get better with antibiotics or naturally expel the bacteria. To find out if your dog is infected with campylobacter, a stool test is done.

How to Prevent and Kill These Parasites and Diseases

In a perfect world, there would be a method for preventing your dog from getting sick from these parasites and diseases. Unfortunately, there's not. But you can take preventive measures and prepare yourself. This way, you not only greatly reduce the chance of your dog getting infected, you also reduce the likelihood of a negative outcome if infected.

In short, here's what you can do:

  • Get the right vaccines: For instance, a DHLPP distemper vaccine includes protection against leptospirosis (note the 'L' in the name of the vaccine). There is also a vaccine for giardia.
  • Look into at-home treatments: Heartgard Plus prevents canine heartworms in dogs by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae for a month.
  • Know the water: In general, it's not common for a dog to get ill after swimming in a stream or lake in North Carolina, but it does happen. A good rule is, if you wouldn't swim in it, don't let your dog swim in it.
  • Recognize symptoms: If your dog is ill after being out in the wilderness, get to a vet immediately.
  • Know where the closest vets are: Before you go on a trip, look up where the closest veterinarians are.

Allivet is the trusted pet pharmacy since 1992.


Low Cost Vaccinations - Leicester, Oct. 28

AHS Low Cost VaccinationsAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, October 28 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Leicester Community Center, 2979 New Leicester Highway, Leicester, NC. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.


Dog Food and Feeding Myths

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There is a lot of misinformation floating around when it comes to dog food and feeding your dog. As you may know, dog food is big business, so some misleading information may be coming from dog food manufacturers who are trying to convince dog owners that their product is better than a competitor's. Other misinformation is spread via undependable online resources.

TopDogTips.com has put together a nifty infographic called "32 Dog Food and Feeding Myths" that debunks some of the commonly held myths. It covers such topics as human food, prescription food, hypoallergenic food, grains, raw food, and more. It should be a helpful resource for all dog owners.

Find the infographic here: https://topdogtips.com/dog-food-myths/


Low Cost Vaccinations - Asheville, Oct. 1

AHS Low Cost VaccinationsAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Sunday, October 1 from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Asheville Humane SocietyAdoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) . No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.


Free Pet Safety Guide

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Whether you just got a dog or you've had one for some time, it's important to know that there can be hazards around your home that could be dangerous to your pet's well-being.

That's why you'll find a free online "Pet Safety Guide," courtesy of ADT Security, to be useful. This online, interactive guide allows you to click on various rooms in a typical home and find out how to pet-proof them. There are lots of important tips about what to look out for in such common areas as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, plus valuable information about maintaining a safe home exterior.

The Pet Safety Guide also includes a handy "Pet Home Safety Checklist" you can download, along with a comprehensive list of supplies you may need as a pet owner.

Check out the Pet Safety Guide here: http://www.adtsecurity.com/resources/pet-safety-guide/

In addition, during medical emergencies and times of need, some owners may not have the financial means to cover the high cost of emergency vet bills. To ensure every pet gets the help they need, the following state by state guide provides a list of the resources and organizations in each state that are offering financial assistance for pet owners in need:

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-financial-aid-for-pets/

 


The Good News About Exercise and Your Dog

ID-100104460Many dog owners recognize that simply walking their dogs can keep them and their dogs healthier. However, it may surprise you to learn that a significant percentage of dog owners do not walk or exercise their dogs.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, "as many as 40 percent of dog owners in the United States and elsewhere rarely if ever walk their dogs." In searching for reasons why people didn't walk their dogs, researchers came up with one intriguing conclusion: "Interestingly, one of the prime determinants of regular dog walks was affection. People who reported feeling close to their pet generally walked it more often than those who reported a looser bond."

A research study suggests that people are less likely to walk smaller dogs (typically weighing less than thirty pounds), older dogs, and overweight dogs. Contrary to popular belief, all of these dogs need exercise, as long as a veterinarian approves. Dr. Carri Westgarth, a researcher in England, tells the Times that taking a dog on a walk is not just good exercise, it is also stimulating for the dog's senses and reinforces the canine-human bond.

“People who walk their dogs often say they do it for the dog,” said Westgarth. “But there is also an element of what we get out of it in terms of enjoyment, which is the big motivator.”

So get out there and walk your dog... you'll both be better off for it!

Image: Vlado, Freedigitalphotos.net


Low-Cost Vaccinations - Asheville, Aug. 26

Praisaeng-freedigAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, August 26 from 2 to 5 PM at Hall Fletcher Elementary, 60 Ridgelawn Road, Asheville. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.

Image: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net


Low Cost Vaccinations - Asheville, July 30

Praisaeng-freedigAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Sunday, July 30 from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, NC. (Off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market.) No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.

Image: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net


ReTail Scene: ThunderEase, New Line of Natural Anxiety Relievers

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 11.32.52 AMEver heard of ThunderShirt? It is a product made by a Durham, North Carolina company, ThunderWorks, that is proven to reduce anxiety in many dogs. Now ThunderWorks has introduced a product line that naturally relieves anxiety in dogs and cats called ThunderEase.

According to the company, ThunderEase replicates feline and canine pheromones — naturally providing a sense of comfort and security during a wide variety of stressful occasions and situations.

“Both dogs and cats emit natural pheromones to help them feel safe and communicate in their environments," said Phil Blizzard, CEO of ThunderWorks.  "For dogs and cats, mothers emit them during nursing. ThunderEase mimics those comforting pheromones and, in turn, provides a very natural solution to treating anxiety and many other behavioral problems in cats and dogs.”

Like ThunderWorks’ other products, ThunderEase is a drug-free and veterinary recommended solution. The pheromones are effective in treating uneasiness in a new home or environment, fear of loud noises like thunder or fireworks, urine spraying and scratching, stressed caused by change, multiple cat tension, anxiety when visiting a veterinarian office or while boarding, and much more.

The ThunderEase diffuser kits, refills and sprays are now available for dogs, online at thunderease.com and will soon be available at pet retailers across the country. ThunderEase Collars for dogs will be available this fall.

“ThunderEase has been proven to be over 90% effective for many anxiety cases ,” said Blizzard. “Pheromones are highly recommended by veterinarians as an alternative solution to treat fear, anxiety and stress in pets without the need for a costly prescription.”


Health Alert: Canine Flu

ID-100120In May 2017, canine H3N2 influenza (canine flu) was diagnosed in dogs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois.

Here is some important information about canine flu from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs and also cats. At present, two strains of canine influenza virus have been identified in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2.

Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets or aerosols containing respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing. Dogs in close contact with infected dogs in places such as kennels, groomers, day care facilities and shelters are at increased risk of infection. CI can be spread indirectly through objects (e.g., kennels, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) or people that have been in contact with infected dogs. It is important to clean and disinfect objects that have been in contact with an infected dog to avoid exposing other dogs to the virus. Likewise, people who have been in contact with an infected dog should wash their hands and clean their clothing to avoid spreading the virus. The virus can remain viable (alive and able to infect) on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.

Virtually all dogs exposed to CIV become infected, with approximately 80% developing clinical signs of disease. The approximately 20% of infected dogs that do not exhibit clinical signs of disease can still shed the virus and spread the infection.

Canine influenza virus causes an acute respiratory infection in dogs. There is no “season” for canine influenza, and infections can occur any time of the year. Canine influenza virus infection often resembles canine infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), which is caused by one or more bacterial or viral infections, including Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus.

The majority of infected dogs exhibit the mild form of canine influenza. The most common clinical sign is a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough.

Veterinary expertise is required to determine treatment options and the best course of treatment.

Image: James Barker, freedigitalphotos.net


Top 4 July 4 Toxins for Dogs

ID-100223199According to the ASPCA, these are the top four toxins for dogs on July 4th:

Fireworks

Fireworks are divided into two categories, personal use and professional. Personal fireworks can be purchased by the general public while professional fireworks are restricted. Fireworks generally contain fuel, oxidizers, color producing compounds (often heavy metals), binders and reducing agents.

While fireworks have the potential to cause serious toxicity, most exposures to personal fireworks do not result in life-threatening signs. Common concerns with exposure to fireworks include gastrointestinal upset, corrosive injury, dermal burns and possible foreign body obstruction.

Heavy metal toxicity is more likely with larger exposures or exposures to professional fireworks.

Pool Chemicals

Pool chemicals can include chlorine tablets, muriatic acid and brominating tablets.

Exposure to pool products – once they have been diluted appropriately in the pool or spa – is generally not a serious concern. However, it is very different when pets get into the products directly.

Most often there is concern for gastrointestinal signs as well as potential for corrosive injury. Respiratory signs may be a problem if the exposure is in a confined area or the owner has been mixing chemicals inappropriately in a small, enclosed space. 

Lawn Products

Generally lawn products fall into three categories: herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides.

Casual exposures to yard products generally result in mild and self-limiting gastrointestinal upset. But what you want to watch out for is exposure to agricultural products (especially older ones), larger exposures to insecticides (particularly granular products) or exposures to older or foreign products.

You are more likely to run in to a nasty toxicity with older (particularly agricultural) or foreign products.

Food

Grapes/raisins, onions and garlic, xylitol, macadamia nuts, chocolate, moldy food, avocados, cherry pits, alcohol: Summer festivities include a plethora of foods pets should not get into.

While there is not much new to share in this category, xylitol keeps popping up in unexpected places – the newest one is peanut butter. Make sure to  check those labels!

Image: Satit_srihin, freedigitalphotos.net


Low-cost Spay Neuter - Asheville, July 3, 5, 6

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Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic (A Program of the ASPCA) is offering a spay/neuter discount in celebration of Independence "Spay!" This nationally known clinic is right here in Asheville on Heritage Drive, off New Leicester Highway. The special is $35 for all dogs and $25 for all cats, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 3, 5 and 6. Call Humane Alliance at 828-252-2079 or make your appointment online at www.humanealliance.org

Please spread the word to help reduce the homeless pet population in our community! 


Low Cost Vaccinations - Fairview, June 24

AHS Low Cost VaccinationsAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, June 24 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Spring Mountain Community Center, 807 Old Fort Road, Fairview, NC. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.


Low Cost Vaccinations - Marshall, June 17

VaccineA low-cost rabies vaccination and microchip clinic will be held by Friends of Madison County Animals on Saturday, June 17 from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Center Community Center, 1300 Grapevine Road, Marshall, NC.

Pricing - Subject to change.

Rabies Vaccine: 1 year  $10.00,  3 year $13.00  (Bring current rabies certificate to get 3-year booster) 

DHPP $15.00 Dogs only

DHLPP, $20.00 Dogs only, this is 5-way vaccine.

Bordetella, $16.00 Dogs only.

FVRCP-Felv, $25.00 Cats only. This is a feline leukemia combo.

Microchipping, $20.00 Both dogs and cats.

There is no need to pre-register. Dogs should be brought on leash and cats should be brought in a carrier.

Image: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net