Category Archives: Healthy Pets and Owners

Is pet insurance worth it?

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Pet Insurance Companies

The importance of health insurance coverage is undeniable in today’s economy. Health care costs are constantly going up, including veterinary health care costs. In the case of preventative health check-ups or even a health care emergency, you want to be sure all family members are protected and provided for – including those with fur.

Without a good pet insurance plan, you could find yourself faced with a heartbreaking dilemma. Some veterinary procedures and surgeries can cost thousands of dollars. For most families, there’s just not enough money in the budget to cover such an expense. Planning ahead with pet insurance could literally add years to your pet’s life. Read More »

Bad “dog” breath: Learn how to prevent it!

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

This is a guest post from Debra Jo Chiapuzio, president of the Emma Zen Foundation and a pet first aid expert. The Emma Zen Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on pet safety. The foundation’s main goal is to provide pet oxygen masks to firefighters and other first responders.

Brushing your pet's teeth can ward off dental disease!

It’s the month of amore, so pucker up and go give your pet a smooch! What? You didn’t brush your teeth? Oh I’ve been there- please go take the time to take care of that. But what about your pets? They feel like that daily, compounded by years if you have never provided proper dental care. Can you imagine NEVER brushing your teeth?

Did you know plaque turns into tarter in 24 to 48 hours? According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, “more than 98% of dogs with bad breath suffer from gum disease, and 80% of our canine friends develop it before they are three-years-old.” And we can do something about it!

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New Year’s resolutions for your pet

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

New year's resolutions for your pet

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to readjust our habits and patterns, even those that involve our pets. We can each apply a little modification to our pets’ lives. A New Year Resolution simple means to “do” an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice for someone. Of course, being pet lovers, to us that “someone” is our pet! We can all be better, give more time to and pay more attention to our pets or even someone else’s!

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Little-known winter pet health dangers

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners, Uncategorized

Cold weather dangers

We all know that extreme cold can be a threat to our pets’ health in the winter. However, there are some other threats that can’t afford be overlooked. Here are some other winter pet health dangers to keep in mind:
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Halloween pet safety tips

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Keep Halloween safe and fun with these pet safety tips

Emma Zen relaxing with some pumpkins.

Did you know Halloween is the second most popular day for pets to be reported missing, following July 4th? Due to our tradition of trick-or-treating, our doors are opening and closing all night, giving our pets more opportunities to get out that front door! While we like to show off our pets, and many times in their holiday wear, the truth is Fido may be safer behind a closed door in the bedroom.

I know, but you want to show everyone your pet’s costume! Well, consider doing what we did. Get your pet dressed up in their costume and take a great photo. You can then post it to your door so everyone can see! Should your neighbors ask where your pet is, simply say something such as, “Emma is all partied out and already fast asleep,” which is probably exactly what they are doing.

Emma Zen and Baby Banks are dressed for Halloween!

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How to create a home emergency kit for your pets

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

The time to put together a pet emergency kit is before you need it! Remember, you can only work with what you have, but what are you supposed to be doing to prepare?

Have a home emergency preparedness kit! This can be one of those 55 gallon drums or a couple of plastic crates (especially the kind with wheels) so you could roll it to your vehicle if need be.

Once you have established a home version you could then create a “grab and go” style. Sometimes that is the type of vest a dog can wear with enough product for only a day or two.

There are wearable emergency kits with several days of supplies.

Your home emergency preparedness kit should contain:

1.   A two week supply of food for each pet stored in airtight containers. This should be rotated at least twice a year to ensure it is fresh, and also maintains that the food your pet is now eating is in their emergency kit. During a stressful situation is no time to add a change of food routine to your pets’ regimen. Remember a manual can opener if you feed canned food.

2.   A two week supply of water for each pet (count on 1 gallon per pet, per day).  Do not store this in direct sunlight to prevent algae growth and do not store plastic containers directly on concrete as they will start to leach chemicals. This also should be rotated, or you can purchase a water purifier chemical.

3.   A two week supply of any medications taken by your animals.  Remember to change out regularly so that you don’t have expired medications and to update when a pet goes on a new medication.

4.   A waterproof container or a plastic bag you could store inside a small dog or cat crate. Place inside each of the follow items:

  • Each of your pet’s vaccination records
  • Photos of your pet with your family as proof of ownership.
  • Medical and microchip records
  • Leash, harness and crate or carrier for each pet
  • A pet first-aid kit with a particulate mask and muzzle
  • Pet’s favorite treats, chew toys, bedding, food & water dishes
  • Litter, scoop & box for kitties
  • Cash

Supplies you should include in an emergency kit.

For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit the Emma Zen Foundation website.

Seat belt safety for pets

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Dogs should be restrained during car trips

When I was a kid, we all watched Batman on TV as he and Robin jumped into the Batmobile. Before taking off, both super heroes paused to buckle their seat belts. And if you wanted to be cool like the bat duo, you made certain you did the same.

Today, buckling up has become routine and the law in most states. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, over half of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt. They recommend wearing seat belts as the most effective step you can take to keep yourself safe in a motor vehicle. Since 1975, it is estimated seat belts have saved over 250,000 lives. Read More »

What’s in your pet’s tummy?

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Chewing is a natural and healthy behavior for dogs

My dog Wheatie loves sticks and paper towels. If he had his way, our daily walks would include many stops for munching on sticks, twigs, and paper towels scraps. His fascination with these items resulted in me teaching him an excellent “drop it.” Sometimes, now, I almost think he just picks up a stick or paper scrap to wait for my command so he can spit it out to get a yummy treat! Pets can eat crazy things. In an online survey, Petcurean asked 1,356 dog and cat owners about their pets. One of the questions they asked was to list the strangest thing their dog or cat had ever eaten. The top choices were:

  • Underwear — 12 percent
  • Books — 8 percent
  • Cell phone or wallet — 3 percent Read More »

Therapy dogs take people to new heights

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Therapy dogs do incredible work

Therapy dogs do incredible work. Therapy dogs are seemingly ordinary pet dogs that have been trained to meet with strangers to provide stress relief, comfort, and healing. If you read books about therapy dogs, like my book The Power of Wagging Tails, you’ll discover that therapy dogs can make an impact wherever people might be in distress. Most people are familiar with therapy dogs going to visit residents of nursing homes or patients in hospitals. Therapy dogs can also be found in libraries and schools, helping elementary students in reading programs. Some therapy dogs go to colleges, providing stress relief and a taste of home to undergraduate and graduate students. Therapy dogs may also provide grief support in funeral homes and comfort to the victims of crime waiting at court to testify. Read More »

Wanna get healthy? Meet a friend

Filed under Healthy Pets and Owners

Your own dog can help you meet friends

“Meet two friends and call me in the morning” may be good advice from your doctor. Medical researchers are learning more and more how strong social connections are linked to good health. Researchers call this social capital. When we think of capital, we usually think of money. Social capital is like money in the bank from having strong social supports. People who are involved in their communities, talk to their neighbors, and have a wide circle of friends have a lot of social capital. Social capital provides emotional support and also is a key factor for overall physical health. Read More »