Dog Health

Low Cost Vaccines - Hot Springs, NC, June 15

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 1.36.41 PMA low cost vaccination and microchip clinic will be held on Saturday, June 15 from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Hot Springs Community Center, North Andrews Ave., Hot Springs, NC. 28743 Rabies and other vaccinations will be available, along with microchips.

If you want a 3-year rabies vaccination, please bring proof of current rabies shot. Dogs should be leashed and cats should be crated. The clinic is sponsored by Friends of Madison County Animals. For more information visit their website, www.fomca.org, or call (828) 649-9798.


Do Dogs Suffer from Depression?

Dogs-2195708_1920What do dog owners do if they think their pet might be depressed? Is it even possible for a dog to become depressed? The simple answer is yes, but you need to find out the why behind it and how you can fix it.

Why Do Dogs Suffer from Depression?

Dogs can become depressed, just as easily as their owners. This might shock you considering you are used to your tail-wagging friends jumping and licking on you the second you walk through the door. But what if he isn’t doing that all of the sudden? It may be depression. But why? Of course, if your dog's behavior changes, you need to talk to your vet. For now, here are a few reasons why dogs become depressed:

  • The absolute biggest reason a dog may find himself depressed is the loss of a pet owner or companion. Dogs become incredibly attached to their owner, so not having them anymore can cause separation anxiety and a great deal of trauma on a pet’s mind and behavior. They are also very connected to their companion, and a loss of a companion dog can bring them to a deep level of depression as well.
  • Dogs can also pick up on any grief that their owner is feeling. If you’re struggling with a traumatic event in your life and are grieving because of it, your dog may be able to sense these feelings and also feel them for themselves as well.
  • Moving to a new house can have a lot of impact on a dog that does not like change. This big change and not having his stuff in a usual location can bring on a bout of doggy depression.
  • Bringing a new baby or pet into his situation can also bring on depression in your dog as he begins to receive less and less attention. He will also feel a bit of jealousy over the new baby or other pet as they don’t feel like the prized possession any longer.
  • A big change in the routine of your dog’s life can cause depression, as well as stress and anxiety. Dogs tend to be routine creatures, so switching up his everyday life can be a huge hurdle for your dog to get over.
  • Did something happen to your pal that left him injured? Dogs, like humans, don’t like to be injured or have pain or discomfort from an injury. If your dog has had a recent injury that has left him in pain and hasn’t allowed him to do his normal routine, this can cause depression.

Symptoms of Doggy Depression

The symptoms of depression found in humans are generally the same as in dogs. Some of the symptoms you will notice in a dog that is suffering from depression include:

  • Being withdrawn. Dogs with depression will appear to be withdrawn, not wanting to engage in social or physical activities like they used to.
  • Decrease in energy. All of a sudden, your rambunctious buddy doesn’t want to go for a walk or play, right? It could be due to depression.
  • Change in eating habits. Big eater not eating? You might want to see if he is struggling with depression and has lost his appetite because of it.
  • Change in sleeping habits. Perhaps he is oversleeping obnoxiously or hardly getting any shut-eye. Both are common effects of depression.
  • Anxiety typically goes hand in hand with depression, so this isn’t a big shock.
  • Aggression. A once nice and gentle pup can turn to a more sporadic, howling mess if he is dealing with an ample amount of depression.
  • Excess whining. All dogs will whine here and there, but if you notice a big increase in the amount of whining or he is apparently whining for no reason at all, he may just be dealing with depression.

Treatment for Dog Depression

  1. You need to give your pet extra attention. Much like a human suffering from depression wants to have more love and affection shown to them, so does your dog. Make sure you are not giving into your dog while they are moping or whining, though. When you see them showing any sign of happiness, reward them with love and treats so they know that is the right behavior to show.
  2. Make sure you give your dog enough time for exercise. Without adequate time to play, going for walks, or doing any other special activities they enjoy, they won’t be able to conquer their feelings of depression.
  3. Consider doing some more activities that include other dogs. This might be a special class where dogs meet and greet, going to the dog park to get some exercise and communication, or just hanging out at a specified doggy daycare.
  4. If all else fails, you might want to consider a natural remedy such as CBD oil, which can be found in our FOMO bones. While CBD oil hasn’t been tested greatly, it has shown to reduce anxiety and depression levels in humans as well as dogs. Make sure you only buy dog products containing the right amount of CBD oil to prevent over-consumption.

Image: Pixabay

This post was provided by FOMOBONES, dog treats for anxiety. Visit their website at www.fomobones.com


Should You Buy Pet Insurance?

Hound-437532_1920 (1)Pet insurance - or veterinary health insurance for your cat or dog - is about being prepared for the unexpected. Having a plan with a top-tier company gives you financial protection; in the event you’re faced with an expensive $2,000-6,000 surgery for your pet, a good insurance policy will pay up to 90% of that vet bill.

What questions should you ask? And which companies have the best plans for your pet? These are important questions, but getting good answers can be confusing.

ConsumersAdvocate.org has put together a comprehensive guide to pet insurance providers, how they work, what they cover, and how to choose the right one for your dog. The organization has done over 200 hours of research and evaluated 15 companies. This valuable free guide is a must-read if you are considering pet insurance.

Access the guide here: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance

Image: Pixabay


Low Cost Vaccines - Hendersonville, May 20

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In an effort to make vaccinations accessible and affordable to the animals and residents of Henderson County, Blue Ridge Humane Society offers low cost vaccines the third Monday of every month at the Adoption Center (88 Centipede Lane, Hendersonville, NC).

The next scheduled vaccine clinic is Monday, May 20 from 1 to 5 PM.

To receive vaccinations at a Blue Ridge Humane Society clinic, pet owners must meet ONE of the below required criteria:

Vaccinations are on a first come first served basis. The day of the vaccinations, pet owners must bring with them the following items:

  • Please bring proof of prior vaccinations including a Rabies Certificate (a rabies tag will not count).
  • All animals should be in good health and have not shown previous signs of aggression.
  • All cats should be in carriers and all dogs should be leashed upon arrival.
  • Owner must bring proof of how they meet the required criteria for vaccination at a Blue Ridge Humane Society.
Vaccine Prices
  • Rabies 1 year (Dogs or cats over 3 months) – $10.00
  • Rabies 3 year (Dogs or cats with rabies certificate, a tag will not count as proof of previous vaccination) – $10.00
  • Bordetella  (Dogs over 2 months) – $10.00
  • DA2PPV (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks) – $10.00
  • FVRCP (Cats over 2 months) – $10.00
  • Microchip (Dogs or cats over 2 months) – $15.00

For further information, visit www.blueridgehumanesociety.org

 

When Do You Say Goodbye to Your Dog?

Old-dog-3303296_1920It's a fact of life that humans typically outlive their beloved pets. One of the more heart-wrenching decisions for any dog owner is knowing when to "let go," either because a dog is critically ill or old age is making life difficult if not unbearable.

A very informative article in The New York Times addresses the issue in objective fashion. The writer, Tara Parker-Pope, discusses her dilemma facing an end-of-life scenario with her own dog. She refers to a "decision tool" created by Dr. Alice Villalobos, a California veterinarian who is nationally known in the field of veterinary oncology. The tool includes seven indicators, such as "Hurt," "Hunger," and "Hydration," which a pet owner rates from 0 (very poor) to 10 (best) to determine the assess a pet's condition. Parker-Pope writes, "When pet owners approach end of life this way, they often are surprised at how much they can do to improve a pet’s quality of life... By revisiting the scale frequently, pet owners can better assess the quality of the pet’s hospice care and gauge an animal’s decline."

Dr. Villalobos tells Parker-Pope, "“Natural death, as much as many people wish it would happen, may not be kind and may not be easy and may not be peaceful. Most people would prefer to assure a peaceful passing. You’re just helping the pet separate from the pack just as he would have done in nature.”

You'll find the decision tool, as well as more helpful information, in the article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/well/family/pet-dog-cat-death-euthanasia.html?

Image: Pixabay


Expanded Vaccine Clinic Hours - Greenville, SC

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 3.00.21 PMGreenville Humane Society now offers a walk-in vaccine clinic (no appointments needed) during the following hours:

Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM
1st Saturday of every month, 9 AM to 12 PM
2nd Thursday of every month, 5:30 to 7 PMhttps://www.greenvillehumane.com/vaccine-clinic/

The clinic is held at the Greenville Humane Society, 305 Airport Road, Greenville, SC. All dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers. Visit https://www.greenvillehumane.com/vaccine-clinic/ for more information.

Pricing

Service 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-Bordetella $15
Heartworm Antigen Test (dogs) $25
Feline Distemper Vaccine $9
3-Year Feline Distemper Vaccine $25
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Vaccine $15
Feline Leukemia/FIV Combo Test $26
Microchipping $15 + tax

Low Cost Vaccination Clinic - Asheville, April 27

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, April 27 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Emma Elementary School, 37 Brickyard Road, Asheville, NC 28806. 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.


Moving? How to Ease Your Dog into a New Home

Guest Post by Cindy Aldridge

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 11.16.08 AMMaking the transition into a new home comes with many challenges. You might be in a new neighborhood and new city, with a new job, and trying to get your house in order. For anyone, it’s a lot to take in, and it can often become overwhelming.

This change is just as disorienting for your dog. Keep him safe and secure by following a few basic tips for a stress-free transition. The first step toward easing your dog into a new home is keeping him calm leading up to the move. If he’s already disoriented and anxious by the time you get to your new home, it might make things more difficult.

Before the Move

Here are a few things you should do before moving to ease your dog’s transition:

  • Keep his routine. On the days leading up to the move, keep your dog’s feeding and walking times as consistent as possible.
  • Maintain his exercise. Keeping your dog exercised and tired will help reduce stress and subdue anxiety, which can often manifest in a variety of ways.
  • Get his records. Make sure your dog has all his shots and is wearing identification. If he should wander out into the new neighborhood, this will make him easier to find.

In the New Home

Pay attention and monitor your dog’s behavior. A common mistake is to simply let your dog loose in a strange house or yard. Introduce him slowly to the perimeter and walk along with him.

If you think your dog is acting strange or funny, it’s important that you’re aware of it and address it as soon as possible. Some common signs of stress include a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and incessant barking. Ways to ease your dog into the transition include:

  • Encourage routine. As soon as you move in, establish or continue known routines for your dog. This keeps his life structured and helps with stress.
  • Keep his old toys. Familiar smells help dogs feel safe and secure. Keeping his old blankets and toys gives him a sense of home.
  • Give him attention. According to The Bark magazine, giving your dog lots of love will make him feel comfortable. Also, help your dog adjust to his new home by playing with him throughout the house and yard.
  • Plenty of exercise. Just like playtime, exercise and regular walks will ensure your dog is tired and releases accumulated energy.
  • Walk him in the neighborhood. After you have looked up the specific laws regarding pets in your neighborhood, show him around the neighborhood so that he becomes familiar with smells and sounds of the new place.

When you’re settling in with your dog, it’s also important to address the quality of air inside your new place. After all, clean air helps keep us happy and relaxed, and our pets, as much as we love them, can unintentionally contribute allergens on a regular basis. So, consider trying out an air purifier to reduce the amount of dander and pet hair floating throughout your home. Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you know which one to purchase by reading through online guides and best-of lists before you make up your mind.

Fence Safety and Tips

Before you leave your dog alone in the new yard, make sure to check for places that might present a danger or allow your dog to escape. According to the Humane Society, dogs commonly escape due to isolation and boredom. This can present a problem in a new environment if your dog is left alone right away.

Robert Frost said, “Good fences make good neighbors.” This especially applies to dogs and dog owners. Installing a new fence may be necessary. You want to consider a fence that is appropriate and safe for your four-legged friend. Assess your dog’s tendencies and consider his ability to jump and dig. The investment is worthwhile if it ensures your dog’s safety and helps him feel comfortable. It might also solve problems of excessive barking and keep your dog safely confined when he’s alone. And while you’re at it, make sure you have an up-to-date ID tag and a reliable GPS tracker in case your pooch does manage to break free from your yard. Having both will help you to find your friend as soon as possible.

Dogs are territorial animals and can be very sensitive to a change of environment. Some extra consideration can go a long way and make the transition smooth and stress-free. In just a few weeks, your dog will be adjusted and back to his old self.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Cindy Aldridge is passionate about dogs and pets and loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner. When she isn’t busy writing, she spends all her time with her two fluffy golden retrievers. Check out her website: http://ourdogfriends.org/


10 Fun Activities that Will Keep Your Dog (and You) Healthy

Guest Post by Sadi Khan

Dogs activitiesDogs need exercise and physical activities as much as humans do. It keeps them happy and healthy (both physically and mentally). This is why it is not enough to just take your dog out for a walk. You are missing out on a lot of fun and health benefits if that’s the only thing you do with your dog.

Let’s have a look at some healthy ways to have fun with your dog. 

1. Running

Running has a never-ending list of benefits for you and your dog. It improves cardiovascular health, keeps obesity at bay, improves mood, and boosts mental health. You cannot get the same benefits from walking because running is more intense and uses different muscles. You will also see an improvement in your dog’s behavior because running will help him burn a lot of energy. You can do a short, light paced jog with any breed, but active breeds like terriers or shepherds can run relatively long distances as well.

2. Hiking

Walking or running with your dog in the neighborhood is great but you might get bored after doing it consecutively for a few days. The best way to deal with this monotony is to change the terrain and go hiking. There are some really good options in Western North Carolina and the Upstate, including trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Search the web to find a dog-friendly trail near you. Hiking will be a great experience for dogs who naturally want to explore.

3. Cycling

If you are not much into running, you can ride a bike and use a biking leash to have your dog tag along. It is a great workout for big, strong dogs and they will be less destructive at home. Mountain biking is also an option (without a leash). However, you need to make sure your dog is young and fit enough to take part in this exercise. It can be too exhausting for young puppies, very old, or small dogs to run while you ride a bike. Choose a cool time of the day and do it only for a short period.

4. Go to a dog park

There are great dog parks in Western North Carolina, such as Azalea Park and French Broad Dog Park in Asheville and the Morris Broadband Dog Park in Bill Moore Community Park in Fletcher. You and your dog will enjoy the outdoor time without a leash, and you can just sit and watch your dog play with other dogs. (Always keep an eye out for rough play, however, especially if you are not familiar with the other dogs.) Used appropriately, a dog park can be a great socializing experience for both dogs and their owners.

5. Play hide and seek

If you are looking for a fun activity that is less of an exercise and more of a game, then hide and seek is a great option. Initially, your dog will need some training (and treats) but once he gets the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun. It will improve your dog’s mental health, problem-solving, and recall skills.

6. Play fetch

Dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages already know how to play fetch. As hunting animals, it comes to them naturally. This activity is also a great way to interact and build a bond with a new dog.

7. Dancing

This might come as a surprise but you can actually try dancing with your dog. It is a great cardio exercise if the weather or neighborhood doesn’t allow for running or biking. It will also build flexibility, stamina, and agility in dogs. You can follow tips and tutorials online or join a proper class, especially if you want to take part in some competition.

Don’t be so hard on them though. Not every dog can move it like Pudsey.

8. Events or competitions

You can find a lot of dog-friendly events and competitions, like dog races, disc dog, or dock jumping. You can also participate in one of these dog-friendly races. You will get to meet many dog owners, learn about other dogs, and discover lots of new products. Some of these canine-friendly events are meant for charities, so you will have fun while supporting a good cause. 

9. Swimming

During the summer, you can take your dog for a regular swim. Dogs can get irritated with the summer heat because they do not sweat and cool down like humans. It will take some time before they learn to swim, but once they do, most dogs will enjoy every bit of it. And it will be a great workout.

10. Traveling

Traveling is one of the best ways to break free from a grinding routine and have some fun. Research confirms that leisure traveling can reduce your chances of a heart attack or developing cardiovascular diseases. Traveling with your dog is easier than ever because of all the dog-friendly accommodations available. Your dog can be especially great company if you are traveling alone and you will feel more secure traveling with him.

All these fun activities will help you and your dog live a happy, healthy life. Just make sure you have discussed any regular exercise with your vet before starting.

Image provided by author.

Sadi Khan is a research analyst and fitness blogger at Runrepeat.com. He believes regular exercise is crucial to your own health and the health of your dogs.


Got a Cold? Keep Your Meds Away from Your Dog

Allergy-18656_1920It's cold and flu season, so you may need some medications to relieve your symptoms. But if you're a dog owner, you likely don't think about the fact that cold and flu medications can be harmful to your dog.

The ASPCA Poison Control Center offers some helpful advice about cold medications that can be dangerous to your dog. Included on the list are:

  • Cough drops
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • NSAIDS
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antibiotics
  • Eye drops

Read this important article if you use any of the above medications: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/dangers-treatment-options-cold-flu-medications

Image: Pixabay


Monday Vaccination Clinics at Spartanburg Humane Society

Praisaeng-freedigThe Spartanburg Humane Society holds low-cost vaccination clinics every Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The next clinic will be held on Monday, March 4. The location is 150 Dexter Road, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

Rabies vaccinations are $9, Distemper Booster vaccinations are $11, and Bordetella (boarding) vaccinations are $11. The Spartanburg Humane Society also offers permanent microchip identification for a low $15.00 at the vaccination clinic.

Image: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net


Vaccinations at Petco, Asheville, March 2

Praisaeng-freedigVaccinations, including rabies vaccine for as low as $19, will be offered at Petco, 825 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806 on Saturday, March 2 from 10 to 11:30 AM and on Saturday, March 30 from 10 to 11:30 AM.

All types of vaccinations are available, as well as heartworm testing, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, deworming and microchips.  The "Healthy Dog & Puppy" package includes the following vaccines for $69:

  • Distemper/Parvo Combo
  • Bordetella
  • Lepto (optional)
  • Round/Hook Dewormer.
  • A rabies vaccine can be added to this package for an additional $10.

Vaccines and services re provided by licensed veterinarians with no office visit fee. No appointment is needed. For further information call 877-838-7468.

Image: Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net


Low Cost Vaccinations - Greenville, SC, March 2

Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 9.28.59 AMNo appointment necessary for monthly Saturday Vaccine Clinic held on the first Saturday of every month at Greenville Humane Society, 305 Airport Road, Greenville, SC. The next clinic will be Saturday, March 2 from 9 AM to 12 PM.

Get all of your animal's shots starting at just $9, with no additional fees. Greenville Humane Society also offers heartworm testing, rabies vaccines, ear cleaning, microchipping and much more. Be sure to also get your pet's flea/tick/heartworm preventative while you're there!

Dogs must be leashed and cats in carriers. For further information, including pricing, visit: https://www.greenvillehumane.com/vaccine-clinic/


Low Cost Vaccinations - Candler, Feb. 23

Praisaeng-freedigOn the last Saturday of every month, veterinarian Dr. James Boatwright offers low-cost vaccinations at Candler Feed & Seed, 1275 Smoky Park Highway, Candler, NC. Vaccinations are administered from noon to 3 PM. Proof of previous rabies vaccine, if any, should be brought along, and cats should be in carriers. The next vaccination clinic will be on Saturday, February 23. For additional details call (828) 553-5792.

Image: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net


Low Cost Vaccinations Through March, West Asheville

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 11.16.06 AMA new affordable veterinary clinic, Open Door Veterinary Clinic, is offering an introductory price of $10 off all vaccination packages through March, in addition to $10 microchips and $5 nail trims.

According to the clinic's website, Open Door offers quality care to dogs and cats at reasonable rates. In addition, "Just by choosing us as your veterinarian you are helping pets in need because we donate a portion of our revenue to our Stay Together Fund. This fund decreases the chance of pets not receiving care, being surrendered to an animal shelter or euthanized when families experience unexpected veterinary medical costs and can’t afford care. All funds are used at Open Door Veterinary Care Clinic."

Open Door Veterinary Clinic is located at 1419 Patton Avenue in West Asheville. For more information, including a list of services, visit: https://opendoorveterinarycare.com/


Low Cost Vaccinations in Henderson County, NC - Feb. 18

Praisaeng-freedigIn an effort to make vaccinations accessible and affordable to the animal and residents of Henderson County, we offer low cost vaccines the third Monday of every month from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the Blue Ridge Humane Society Adoption Center, 88 Centipede Lane, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Before administering vaccinations, pets receive an examination from a licensed veterinarian, and are educated about the importance of preventive care when it comes to their pets health.

To receive vaccinations at a Blue Ridge Humane Society clinic, pet owners must meet ONE of the below required criteria:

Vaccinations are on a first come first served basis. The day of the vaccinations, pet owners must bring with them the following items:

  • Please bring proof of prior vaccinations including a Rabies Certificate (a rabies tag will not count).
  • All animals should be in good health and have not shown previous signs of aggression.
  • All cats should be in carriers and all dogs should be leashed upon arrival.
  • Owner must bring proof of how they meet the required criteria for vaccination at a Blue Ridge Humane Society.
Vaccine Prices
  • Rabies 1 year (Dogs or cats over 3 months) – $10.00
  • Rabies 3 year (Dogs or cats with rabies certificate, a tag will not count as proof of previous vaccination) – $10.00
  • Bordetella  (Dogs over 2 months) – $10.00
  • DA2PPV (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks) – $10.00
  • FVRCP (Cats over 2 months) – $10.00
  • Microchip (Dogs or cats over 2 months) – $15.00

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact community@blueridgehumane.org.

Image: Praisaeng, freeditialphotos.net


Preventing Fleas, Ticks, and Worms: A Comparison Chart

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Fleas, ticks and worms are more than a nuisance to your dog -- they can also adversely affect your dog's health if they are not treated properly. Thankfully, treatments are available for all three of these parasites. Some are topical and others are taken internally.

The problem is there are many treatments on the market to choose from -- and that's where a handy chart from PetBucket.com, an online seller of pet products, comes in. This comparison chart offers a quick overview of the most popular treatments, the active ingredients, how they're administered and how often, and which parasites they treat. Take a look at this chart and it will quickly demystify treatments for fleas, ticks and worms. You'll find it here:

https://www.petbucket.com/c/4585062/1/comparing-flea-tick-worming-treatment-for-dogs-and-cats.html


Low Cost Vaccinations - Candler, Jan. 26

Praisaeng-freedigOn the last Saturday of every month, veterinarian Dr. James Boatwright offers low-cost vaccinations at Candler Feed & Seed, 1275 Smoky Park Highway, Candler, NC. Vaccinations are administered from noon to 3 PM. Proof of previous rabies vaccine, if any, should be brought along, and cats should be in carriers. The next vaccination clinic will be on Saturday, January 26. For additional details call (828) 553-5792.

Image: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net


Five Winter Safety Tips for Your Dog

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 12.56.18 PMWinter is a magical time, but it can produce quite a few potential dangers for our dogs. From exposure to the cold to toxic chocolate treats, there is much to be vigilant against. Here are five tips to keep your pooch safe during the winter months.

1. Warning Signs

 Even in winter, your dog needs to be taken outside. One way to protect them is by being attentive to any physical and behavioral warning signs. Are they shivering or showing that they’re upset by barking or whimpering? Behaviors like these could be interpreted differently during the warmer months, but they can be indicators of distress in winter. Check their ears to see if they are cold, and watch out for lethargy. Your dog may just be discouraged by the cold, but reduced energy could suggest more serious issues. This is a time to be observant, as your dog will let you know if they are in trouble.

2. Paws

The cold takes a toll on our dog's paws. There are hazards concealed by snow, and ice can form between their toes, especially when nails are long. While you could avoid snowy areas, even sidewalks and roads have their own dangers due to increased chemical use. Salt and other deicers are toxic to dogs, and your neighbors may be unaware of that. Take precautions after each outing by wiping your pup's paws with warm water to remove salt and ice buildup. Your best option may be to buy booties, as they are comfortable and can keep them safe from harm and dry skin. This alone can keep their winter fun and free of ill-health.

3. Accessories

Even when they grow a heavier coat for winter, dogs can still feel the cold. This can make heading out onerous for them, yet they need to remain active for their own well-being. You can help keep your canines stay warm in dropping temperatures by adding a sweater to their natural buffer. What materials you choose will depend on the size of your pet and the thickness of their fur. Dog clothing can also be modified to deal with darker days. Your walks may happen in poor visibility, so consider attachable safety lights and high-visibility gear to give you peace of mind.

4. Hazards

Winter is a festive time, but cold weather foods can be harmful to dogs. Many wintery foods contain chocolate, but these treats can cause severe toxic reactions when ingested by our canines. Rich “people foods” can also cause problems, so avoid indulging your furry friends, as their health is more important than allowing occasional tableside begging. Especially dangerous in the garage is antifreeze which can poison pooches. Dogs are curious, but it's essential that you stop them from investigating anything that could be dangerous.

5. Keep Dogs Indoors

Bring your pooch inside during cold weather. Outdoor kennels are not safe places in winter, so don't rely on them. Your pooch may already have a special place to sleep when indoors. If not, choose an area for their bed away from cold flooring, like hardwood or tile, or anywhere that is drafty. Ideally, it should be well-heated, but you can supplement this with a hot water bottle or electric bed. However, take care that they do not become overheated, as this could cause restlessness. Aside from walks, keep your dog's outings to a minimum. That includes washing them indoors. It may sound messy, but a wet coat can be a recipe for hypothermia.

Our dogs deserve nothing but safety. Plan out how you can protect your canine from outdoor hazards and cooler temperatures, and be aware of physical warning signs. Winter should be a time to frolic, so make this season a happy one for your pooch.

Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at http://spiritfinder.org/

Image courtesy of Pexels