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February 2016

What You Should Know About Older Pets

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.15.42 PMIt's remarkable how the lives of dogs and cats track to humans, and it is never more true than when it comes to aging. Just as humans are living longer, dogs are too. Vetstreet.com has some valuable insights into older pets in the form of "myths" in an article well worth reading.

Vetstreet advises that a dog's old age is not a disease -- but older dogs are more susceptible to such diseases as cancer, arthritis, and mental decline. Some pet owners ignore an older dog's symptoms because they think it is just evidence of age and nothing can be done. Vetstreet suggests otherwise, listing several warning signs that require veterinary attention. Vetstreet also points out that veterinarians often recommend twice-yearly checkups for older dogs, even if they seem healthy. According to Vetstreet, "this six-month strategy greatly enhances the chances of detecting a problem in the early stages when more therapeutic options may exist."

Read the complete article here.


Low Cost Vaccinations and Microchips - Candler, Feb. 27

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 10.58.02 AMAsheville Humane Society offers animal owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, February 27 from 2 to 5 PM at Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, 725 Asbury Road, Candler. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year - (Dogs or cats over 4 months)  - $11.00
Rabies 3 year - (Dogs or cats over 4 months with rabies certificate to prove current on rabies) - $11.00  
Bordetella - Kennel cough - (Dogs over 2 months)  - $15.00
DAPP - Distemper, Adenoxirus Type 2, Parainfluenza and Parvo - (Dogs over 2 months)  - $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia - (Cats over 2 months) - $20.00
Microchip - (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  - $10.00 

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


Your Dog's Body Language May Surprise You

ID-100233930You may think you know what your dog is telling you by watching his body language -- but some signals may surprise you, according to veterinarian behaviorist Dr. Wailani Sung. Writing for Vetstreet, Sung discusses such common behaviors as tail wagging, noting that "tail wagging is not necessarily a sign of friendliness. In dogs, a wagging tail is an indication that the dog is willing to interact, but that interaction can be either aggressive or friendly. In order to determine what the dog is 'saying,' you need to look at the rest of the dog’s body posture to figure out if he is approachable or not."

Raised hackles are another sign that can be misinterpreted. Sung writes, "Hackles being raised in a dog (veterinarians call this 'piloerection') is not always an indication that the dog is about to attack another dog. Dogs often raise their hackles when they are being wary and cautious but not always before they attack. A dog may approach another dog slowly with his hackles raised, then greet the other dog with a play bow!"

Sung addresses other animal body language that may surprise you. Read the entire article in Vetstreet.

Image: Tiverylucky, freedigitalphotos.net


Find Out What Your Dog Really Costs

ID-10055328It's no secret that a dog, or any pet for that matter, comes with certain costs. Obvious costs include food and veterinary care. But others associated with dog ownership, such as flea treatments, treats, collars, and leashes can mount up.

Now there's a handy place to find out about estimated dog-related costs, including typical costs for: adopting, bark collars, boarding, cancer treatment, crates, daycare, grooming, surgery, vaccinations, and more. The information is quite comprehensive. Most entries include a full description, average costs that are validated by outside sources, what is included in the cost as well as extra costs, factors that influence price, questions to ask, and ways to save money.

Just go to http://www.howmuchisit.org/dog-costs/ and check out many of the typical costs of dog ownership.

Image: Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net


Hiking Hounds - Feb. 21

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Two Sunday mornings each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, February 21. Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


World Spay Day - Feb. 23

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 3.45.37 PMWorld Spay Day takes place each year on the last Tuesday of February, this year on the 23rd. Created as Spay Day USA by the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) in 1995, World Spay Day is now a program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society International (HSI) and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA).

World Spay Day is the first and ONLY international day of action to promote the spaying or neutering of pets, community cats and street dogs to save animals’ lives. On World Spay Day and throughout February—Spay/Neuter Awareness Month—veterinary and animal welfare professionals, business owners and concerned individuals join forces to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as the most effective and humane means of decreasing the euthanasia of homeless animals in shelters.

The most significant way you can help support World Spay Day is to make sure every pet you own is spayed -- and to spread the word that spay/neuter is essential if we are to control pet overpopulation. For more ideas about how you can participate in World Spay Day, visit www.worldspayday.org

By the way, did you know we have the leading spay/neuter clinic and training facility in the country right here in Asheville? It's Humane Alliance, a program of the ASPCA. Learn more about low-cost spay/neuter here: www.humanealliance.org.


How You Can Help Stop Animal Abuse and Neglect

ID-10073638Hard as it is for animal lovers to imagine, animal abuse and neglect is alarmingly common in North Carolina and across the United States. Unfortunately, unless abuse and neglect is reported by concerned citizens, it can go undetected.

Citizens who witness acts of abuse, neglect, or cruelty should report them. Record as much information about the situation as you can -- date location, situation, and so on -- but don't try to correct the situation yourself. Instead, call the proper authorities.

Locally, we are fortunate to have dedicated Animal Control Officers in both Buncombe County and the City of Asheville who investigate cases of abuse and neglect. To report animal abuse, neglect or cruelty in the Buncombe County, call the Sheriff's Office of Animal Services at (828) 250-6670. To report animal abuse, neglect or cruelty in the City of Asheville, call Animal Services at (828) 252-1110.

You might be interested to know that as of January 2016, police are required to report animal abuse cases to the FBI, who will be collecting and tracking data. Sadly, one of the reasons for an increased interest in animal abuse is the fact that it is often closely linked to domestic abuse. According to the organization SpotAbuse.org, “76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. The premise is that if more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), that the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases.”

Don't let animal abuse, neglect or cruelty go unnoticed. When you see it, report it.

Image: sixninepixels, freedigitalphotos.net

 


PetSmart National Adoption Weekend, Feb. 12-14

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While any time is a great time to adopt a pet, this weekend is PetSmart's "National Adoption Weekend." Head on over to the PetSmart at 150 Bleachery Boulevard in Asheville (not far from the Asheville Mall) on February 12, 13, and 14 to see lots of adoptable animals from several animal welfare organizations. Maybe you'll find your special love on Valentine's weekend!

For more information, including hours of the adoption event, contact the store directly at (828) 298-5670.

Animals for adoption will also be available at the PetSmart at 3 McKenna Road in Arden from 1 to 4 PM.

 

Image: Mister GC, freedigitalphotos.net


Talk: "What About that Walking Gear?" - North Asheville, Feb. 18

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 4.22.34 PMA talk titled "What About that Walking Gear?" will be presented as a benefit for Asheville Voice for Animals (AVA). It will cover in depth the different types of walking gear available for dogs, the physical and mental effects of these types of walking gear from a dog's perspective, and what to do to help you and your dog have wonderful bonding walks that do not involve physical and mental degradation.

WHEN: Thursday, February 18th, 2016 at 7 pm

WHERE: Nectar Restaurant, 853 Merrimon Avenue, North Asheville
WHO: Grace Shen of The Collarless Dog and Joanne Ometz of Mindfulness for Dogs will be leading the talk with a Q&A afterwards.

Seating is limited, and tickets for the talk are $10 at the door. Please call Grace to reserve a spot at 828-545-2948.

A delicious, nourishing, and healthy dinner, snacks or drinks can be had at Nectar prior to the talk until 7 pm. Nectar specializes in organic raw and vegan cuisine.

Image provided by Grace Shen

 

Food Allergies and Your Dog

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About 10 to 15 percent of allergic reactions in dogs and cats are caused by the food they eat. They are the third most common allergy in pets after flea bites and inhaled allergens. While other allergens in the air, grass, and home can be culprits, it is important to rule out food when your dog has an allergy. Most pets are not born with food allergies; rather, their immune systems develop an allergy over time.

Petco has created a very handy infographic about food allergies that details symptoms, the most common food allergens, and what to do if your dog has a food allergy, which is often caused by a protein in the diet.

You can access the infographic here.


Local Puppies Featured on Animal Planet's Feb. 7 "Puppy Bowl"

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Exciting news!!!!! The Carolina Panthers aren't the only ones headed to the big game! Four puppies from Asheville Humane Society were selected to star in this year's Puppy Bowl XII on Animal Planet!!!

To celebrate, Asheville Humane Society is having an adoption event and Puppy Bowl viewing party at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. on Merrimon Avenue this Sunday, February 7 from 2-4 PM with adorable puppies for adoption! Bella, Asheville's very own starting lineup Puppy Bowl celebrity, will be attending at 2 PM to meet and greet her fans!

To watch the Puppy Bowl on the big screen, stick around at Asheville Pizza & Brewing for a viewing party from 3-5 PM. Grab a booth, order some pizza and get ready to cheer on the cutest team to take the field... TEAM RUFF!!!


7 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Safe While Traveling

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

ID-1001930Taking a vacation is meant to be a relaxing endeavor, but when it comes to traveling with a dog there can be a lot of added stress. It’s important to make sure that your companion is safe and comfortable, especially on long, curvy rides on mountain roads. Here are seven tips for safe pet travel:

1. Visit the vet’s office first. You want to be sure that your pet is ready to hit the open road (or open air) health-wise, especially since you won’t be close to his regular doctor while you’re away. Further, many airlines require a certificate of veterinary inspection within 10 days of traveling.

2. Be wary of harsh weather conditions. If you’re flying during the summer or winter months, be sure to check that the airline will accommodate for extreme temperatures. This is especially important if your pet will take the trip below the cabin. If you’re taking a winter weekend getaway to the mountains with your pup, pack him his own blankets and sweaters to protect him from the cold.

3. Choose the right crate for your pet. Crates are required for pets to travel via plane, and an excellent option for car rides. (They’re also a good way to keep pets polite while staying in hotels or with a loved one.) Make sure the crate large enough to allow him to stand, turn, and lie down with plenty of ventilation. It should have a leak proof bottom and be lined with absorbent material like a towel or blanket in case of potty accidents. A “live animal” label should be placed in a clearly visible spot on the outside.

4. Pack a travel kit. Even if your pet is a tenured traveler, the process can be quite stressful for animals. Put together a travel kit for him full of his favorite goodies and toys to create a sense of familiarity: his food, water bowl, bed or blanket, and a couple of his favorite toys. If you’re flying, you may want to consider leaving him a T-shirt that smells like you for added reassurance.

5. Look out for safety hazards. Though you’ll want a leash with you, don’t leave it in the crate as it could be a serious choking risk. Loose collars can pose a similar problem, so find the happy medium between too snug and too loose. Dogs will appreciate a good chew bone to keep their minds occupied, but make sure it won’t break into small pieces that he could choke on (especially on a bumpy flight or road trip).

6. Figure breaks into your travel time. Especially if you’re going on a lengthy car ride, plan to take pit stops every two hours or so to give your pet a break. Give dogs a potty walk and allow them a little extra time to run around, explore the mountain scenery, or play with a ball or Frisbee; it’ll make him feel less restless and maybe even burn off enough energy to let him snooze during the drive.

7. Consider boarding your pet. Though it’s difficult to leave your beloved pet behind, however temporarily, it may actually be better for him to skip the stress of travel. You can find a responsible pet sitter who would love to care for your companion, and with today’s technology you can easily stay updated on his stay with daily photos and video chats. Think of it as your pet taking his own vacation in a safe, compassionate environment!

Traveling with a pet can be tricky, but with the right tools and approach even the ruff-est rides can be enjoyable!

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Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. She created her website, SpiritFinder.org, as a platform for advocacy on opening up about mental health. Through the site, she hopes to share the types of steps and success stories that can help others realize their own power. When she isn’t working on her website, she enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.

Image: Federico Stevanin, freedigitalphotos.net

 


Hiking Hounds - Feb. 7

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Two Sunday mornings each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, February 7. Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Pet Loss Support Groups in February

PupinframeAsheville, Feb. 3: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Location: Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church), Asheville. Donations accepted. Call (828) 254-6001 for additional information.

Waynesville, Feb. 17: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Location: Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A, Waynesville. Donations accepted. Registration required. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, LCSW, at (828) 226-7366.

Image: Whittaya Phonsawat, freedigitalphotos.net