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March 2021

Top Pet Toxins According to the ASPCA

CautionEach year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) releases a list of the leading pet toxins. These substances are commonly found in most every home so, as a dog owner, you should be aware of their danger. The following information is from the ASPCA.

For the third year in a row, human over-the-counter (OTC) medications lead the top toxins list, making up nearly 17 percent of APCC’s total case volume. The most common items in this category include cold medications, vitamins, and pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen, which can all cause life-threatening medical issues. Because these items are easily accessible to pets in homes, purses, and backpacks, the ASPCA urges pet owners to take extra precautions and keep all toxic items, especially medications, securely locked in a cabinet.

The remaining nine items on the 2020 list, making up nearly 80 percent of all APCC cases, include the following:

  1. Human Prescription Medications remained at number two in 2020 with antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and cardiac medication ingestions being the most common cases. Like OTC medications, many of these prescriptions can cause gastrointestinal issues and may even lead to kidney failure.
  2. Food Products continue to occupy the third spot, making up 13 percent of total cases in 2020. This year, protein and snack bar exposures along with grapes, raisins, xylitol, onions, and garlic made up most food toxicity cases.
  3. Chocolate ingestion cases continue to increase year after year. APCC handles almost 76 cases of chocolate exposure each day. It’s important for pet owners to remember that the higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous the chocolate will be for your pet.
  4. Plants, both indoor and outdoor, moved up three spots to number five in 2020, with the APCC seeing 9,000 more plant-related calls compared to the previous year. At the start of the pandemic, more people found themselves decorating with plants, especially succulents, or sending bouquets to friends and family. While many plants pose a serious threat to pets, there are also many pet friendly houseplants to consider.
  5. The last five toxins on the list include household items such as cleaning products and paint; rodenticides; veterinary products such as pet medications; insecticides and gardening products including fertilizer.

For more information about the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, please visit www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.  


Does Your Dog Suffer from CDS?

Sharon-mccutcheon-j7mcNG_2vuo-unsplashDogs can suffer from dimentia just like humans. About 68 percent of dogs ages 15 to 16, and 28 percent of dogs ages 11 to 12, are affected by Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).

This helpful article discusses in detail signs, symptoms and treatments for CDS. According to the article:

Many vets use the acronym DISHAAL to assess for cognitive dysfunction. DISHAAL stands for

  • Disorientation
  • alterations in Interactions with owners, other pets and the environment 
  • Sleep-wake cycle disturbances 
  • House soiling
  • changes in Activity 
  • Anxiety
  • Learning and memory impairment. 

If your dog exhibits any of the above signs, it could be CDS or some other condition -- but you definitely want to consult your vet. Start your assessment and improve your understanding of CDS by reading the article here: https://www.nextavenue.org/dementia-in-pets-what-you-need-to-know/

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


ReTail Scene: Next Generation Dog Training

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 1.47.42 PMNow you can train your dog using advanced machine learning through a company called Companion. Check this out from their website, joincompanion.com :

Companion develops technology that automatically trains dogs to high levels using machine learning, robotics, computer vision, and state of the art reward-based training. Our products create high-quality solutions to the most pressing dog training and welfare issues for professional working dog businesses, boarding facilities, trainers and consumers. The Companion team includes world-class technologists, animal welfare experts, researchers, and entrepreneurs. We’ve partnered with the SF SPCA, Google, and top tier venture investors to bring a new category of products to the world.

Companion uses state of the art AI to provide thousands of hours of fun and engaging training. We help your dog understand cues and directions while you get on with the rest of your day. So when it's time for you to take them for a walk, you can focus on the good times.

Companion's proprietary technology adapts to your dog in real time and delivers transformative insights into your dog's behavior. Audio and 3D sensing systems precisely detect and analyze your dog's movement and behaviors. Machine learning rapidly calculates the best way to engage with your dog with positive reinforcement, recognizing and rewarding their achievements with their favorite treats.

Check out more about it here: joincompanion.com 

Image: Joincompanion.com

 


Free Pet Food - Hendersonville, March 27

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Blue Ridge Humane Society is offering free pet food on Saturday, March 27 from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County, 1304 Ashe St., Hendersonville, NC 28792.
 
Cat and dog food will be distributed first come, first serve, as supplies last to those in need or affected by COVID-19. Social distancing and protective measures will be taken by all staff and we ask the public to do the same during the drive-thru pick-up. Masks are required to be worn during pick-up. Food will be distributed car-side, so all you need to do is pull up and the Humane Society will direct you from there! Staff will get your info (zipcode, number and type of pet), and place the food in your car trunk.
 
If a pet owner is in need of food but unable to attend the pick-up, please call or text the BRHS helpline at 828-393-5832.

$5 Rabies Shots at Greenville Humane - March Only

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Greenville Humane Society (Greenville, SC) is offering $5 rabies vaccinations through the end of March. They are now accepting walk-in visitors from 9 AM through 3 PM for all vaccine clinic services. The number of clients in the building at any one time will be limited, however. Please call (864) 263-5611 before you come to avoid a wait time when visiting without an appointment. Alternatively, you can make an appointment here: https://www.greenvillehumane.com/vaccine-clinic/


Testing Your Dog's DNA

Dog-2520857_1920One of the most popular dog breeds isn't a breed at all -- it's the mixed breed, sometimes affectionately known as a "mutt." The mixed breed is found throughout dogdom, very often available at animal shelters and rescue organizations. It turns out that mixed breed dogs are typically healthier than pure-bred dogs, so they are among the best dogs to own. Still, many dog owners would like to know the breeds that actually make up their dogs. This is the main reason dog DNA tests have flooded the market.

Testing your dog's DNA is likely to be the most accurate way to determine the breed mix. Yourdogadvisor.com has put together a helpful, comprehensive guide to DNA testing. It includes:

  • Why Do a Dog DNA Test?
  • How Dog DNA Test Work
  • The Best Dog DNA Tests - Our Thoughts
  • Reviews of four DNA test brands

You can access this free guide here: https://yourdogadvisor.com/best-dog-dna-test/

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay


Taking Care of Your Senior Dog

As dogs age, they slow down, exhibit behavior more typical of seniors and sometimes develop health conditions -- just like Jairo-alzate-L-pkb93pBP8-unsplash humans. If you have a senior dog, you probably already deal with some of these issues. If so, you will want to read an excellent and informative article, "Preventive Care for Senior Dogs" from the Dog Aging Project.

This article offers comprehensive, authoritative answers to the following questions:

  • How often should I take my senior dog to the veterinarian?
  • What signs should I look for that would prompt me to take my aging dog to the veterinarian sooner than six months?
  • Once I get to the veterinarian's office, what should I discuss with my veterinarian? What information about my older dog is important to mention?
  • What does a veterinarian assess during my dog's physical exam?
  • What vaccinations should my senior dog receive?
  • What preventive medications should my senior dog take?
  • What diet and supplements should my senior dog take?
  • Is dental care important for my senior dog?

Read the entire article here: https://dogagingproject.org/preventive-care-senior-dogs/?

Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash


Asheville Humane Hiking Hounds - March 21

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. 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 is on Sunday, March 21.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

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 serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds now operates under these Covid-19 protocols:

We will ask that no one sign up for our hikes if they are at risk or have compromised immune systems. If you sign up and begin to feel ill, we ask that you cancel immediately.

We are asking all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them. AHS is asking that ONLY hike leaders enter the building, no volunteers; anyone in the building must wear a mask. You will not be allowed to use the restroom inside the building, so plan on using the port-a-john at the Arboretum, or the woods. 

Bring hand sanitizer if you have it.

Please bring a leash of your own (if you have one), the fewer objects changing hands the better. 

We will maintain a 6 ft bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort.  

We will eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them through social media.

We will have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 

 When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  

All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes. 

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


How to Enrich Your Dog's Life

Lena-balk-Jh7mx7fMXzE-unsplash"Canine enrichment" is a phrase dog behaviorists use to define specific ways for how to make a dog's life happy and healthy. In a recent article for The Bark, animal behaviorist and dog trainer Karen London discusses tips which she discovered in the book, Canine Enrichment for the Real World: Making It a Part of Your Dog’s Daily Life by Allie Bender and Emily Strong. London highlights the following important points about enrichment:

  • "Ideal enrichment varies by individual as well as by breed"
  • "Providing choices to a dog is a great form of enrichment"
  • "Physical exercise affects the brain, mood, digestion, memory, appetite" and more
  • "Safety and security are critical elements of enrichment"
  • "Mental stimulation is an important part of enrichment"
  • "Let them be dogs!"

The article is worth reading -- and the book is a must if you want to really enrich your dog's life!

Photo by Lena Balk on Unsplash


"New Leash on Life" Pairs Dogs and Inmates

Screen Shot 2021-02-08 at 4.14.45 PMHere's a novel program in our area you may not know about. The "New Leash on Life" program is a collaboration between Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville, Jenny White of Dog-Ed, an Asheville-based certified dog trainer, and Craggy Correctional Center, a medium security prison for men. Four dogs are placed with eight inmate trainers at Craggy for a period of eight to twelve weeks. During the training time, dogs are taught basic obedience, house training, and socialization through positive reinforcement training and repetition. Dogs are taught to walk off and on leash and to respond to basic commands. At the end of the training period, Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville reviews applications for the dogs and places them in good homes.

Volunteers from Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville also participate in Pups on PAWrole. A weekly group outing provides the dogs with a break from the prison environment and exposes them to new places and experiences. For one to two hours, basic skills are reinforced through a walk in a park. Encounters with other walkers gives MPRA the opportunity to share information on the New leash on Life Program.

To learn more about Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville, visit https://www.mountainpetrescueavl.org/


Asheville Humane Hiking Hounds - March 14

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. 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 is on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

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 serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds now operates under these Covid-19 protocols:

We will ask that no one sign up for our hikes if they are at risk or have compromised immune systems. If you sign up and begin to feel ill, we ask that you cancel immediately.

We are asking all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them. AHS is asking that ONLY hike leaders enter the building, no volunteers; anyone in the building must wear a mask. You will not be allowed to use the restroom inside the building, so plan on using the port-a-john at the Arboretum, or the woods. 

Bring hand sanitizer if you have it.

Please bring a leash of your own (if you have one), the fewer objects changing hands the better. 

We will maintain a 6 ft bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort.  

We will eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them through social media.

We will have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 

 When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  

All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes. 

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Tails and Trails - April 11-18, Hendersonville

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 10.30.57 AMGather your favorite hiking buddy, canine or human, and explore the amazing trails in the Hendersonville, NC area thanks to the work of Conserving Carolina in support of Blue Ridge Humane Society.
 
During the week of April 11-18th hit the trails that have been made possible by Conserving Carolina with your favorite two- or four-legged friend and complete additional challenges for prizes from Blue Ridge Humane Society and Conserving Carolina!
 
Hike options:
  • Bearwallow Mountain: a moderate 2 mile round trip through beautiful woods to an open bald that is accessible thanks to a conservation easement and trail building by Conserving Carolina
  • The Oklawaha Greenway: Walk any segment of the 3.25 miles of Greenway between Jackson Park and Berkeley Mills Park. The greenway provides a paved pathway through vital wetland areas with little elevation changes. Conserving Carolina is a founding member of the Friends of Oklawaha Greenway, an organization that stewards the existing greenway path as well as advocates for extending its length with new greenway segments and connector routes.
  • The Park at Flat Rock: The park is 68 acres with a 1.5 mile crushed cinder perimeter trail and other walking paths that intersect the main trail. Conserving Carolina aided in establishment of The Park at Flat Rock in 2014, helping to secure funding for land acquisition including authoring an NC Parks & Recreation Trust Fund grant. The grant provided significant funding to help defray the costs of acquiring the land.
Complete one or all of the hikes and walks and discover for yourself the work of Conserving Carolina in the community with your furry friend. Proceeds support Conserving Carolina and the programs of Blue Ridge Humane Society that provide new homes for pets in need, support services for local pets and their owners, and more!
 
Register now to receive your 2021 Tails and Trails t-shirt and access to the Tails and Trails Challenges that will result in fun prizes from BRHS and Conserving Carolina! For more information and to register visit https://www.blueridgehumane.org/calendar/tails-and-trails/

Free Pet Food - Hendersonville, March 8

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Blue Ridge Humane Society is offering free pet food on Monday, March 8 from 2 to 5:30 PM at the Blue Ridge Humane Adoption Center, 88 Centipede Lane, Hendersonville, NC.
 
Cat and dog food will be distributed first come, first serve, as supplies last to those in need or affected by COVID-19. Social distancing and protective measures will be taken by all staff and we ask the public to do the same during the drive-thru pick-up. Masks are required to be worn during pick-up. Food will be distributed car-side, so all you need to do is pull up and the Humane Society will direct you from there! Staff will get your info (zipcode, number and type of pet), and place the food in your car trunk.
 
If a pet owner is in need of food but unable to attend the pick-up, please call or text the BRHS helpline at 828-393-5832.

Blue Ridge Humane Offers Pet Housing Assistance

Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 2.12.17 PMBlue Ridge Humane Society has been awarded a grant by the Community Foundation of Henderson County to provide assistance for pet owners seeking housing. Blue Ridge Humane Society is committed to keeping pets in loving homes through a range of programs and assistance for community pets. The new program adds a needed service to assist in the current pet-friendly housing challenges facing Henderson County residents.

The new program will assist pet owners through two avenues—either through assisting with temporary boarding cost while the owner is unable to keep an animal due to relocation or other emergency circumstances; or through assisting with one-time pet deposit for a rental unit.

Those needing assistance or interested in learning more about the program can call (828) 393-5832 (you may experience a delay on holidays and weekends).


Asheville Humane/Brother Wolf Offer Low-Cost Spay/Neuter

SpayneuterThanks to a spay/neuter grant received by Asheville Humane Society from Bissell Pets Foundation, low-cost spay/neuter will be more widely available to Buncombe County residents during these difficult times. To help meet the demand for low-cost spay/neuter in the community, Asheville Humane Society is partnering with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, whose mobile spay/neuter clinic visits the Community Center on Wednesdays to give more people and their pets access to these services. The Community Center is located at 1425 Patton Avenue, behind the Asheville Humane Thrift Store. Call the Asheville Humane Safety Net helpline at 828-761-2008 for more information.