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Introducing a Newly Adopted Pet Into Your Home

Posted on: June 18th, 2009 by

1. Introduce your newly adopted pet to other pets in a neutral location. Do not introduce a new pet in the “territory” of your current pets. This will set up a confrontation.

2. Do not have the first meeting of the newly adopted pet at the front door. Again, reinforce the neutral area. For dogs, it might be a park down the street. For cats, you might want to place the newly adopted cat in a bathroom for gradual introduction, avoiding confrontation. This way the animals get to smell each other and used to the idea of an intruder. Provide a hiding place like a covered kennel or safe room. Being able to hide lowers a cat’s stress when confronted by strangers, changes or excess activity.

3. Be patient and build trust with your new pet. Expect them to take some time getting to know you, and to feel safe. Do not “push” them to respond to you until they are ready to engage.

4. Do not overly lavish attention on a new pet, as it will establish the expectation that this level of attention should continue and the pet will become stressed if the attention does not continue. The tendency is to lavish a lot of attention in getting to know each other and to bond, but this can backfire when your normal routine sets in.

Information provided by Dr. Rolan Tripp of animal behavior network. Visit www.animalbehavior.net to learn more.

5 Reasons to Promote Pet Dental Health

Posted on: June 18th, 2009 by

June Pets Best Newsletter – In this issue:
Top 5 Dog Travel Concerns
For a Healthier, Happier Life … Every Pet Deserves Oxyfresh

Many pet owners may not realize just how crucial dental care is. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), an organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three. Although pet periodontal disease is completely preventable, it often goes untreated and can threaten the health of your furry friend.

5 Reasons to Promote Pet Dental Health

1. Pets with fresh breath get more lovin’

People love to closely interact with their pets — to snuggle, hug and kiss them. When they have bad breath, snuggles, hugs and kisses don’t happen as often. Fresh breath can help improve the human-pet bond, making pets and people happier.

2. A healthy mouth feels good

Dental disease can cause severe inflammation of the gums and socket of the tooth. Inflammation also means the pet is in pain — even if they don’t show obvious signs of discomfort.

3. Pets with healthy mouths live longer

Pets free of dental disease may live three to five years longer. The stress placed on the immune system and the bacteria that escapes the mouth and makes it’s way into the bloodstream can cause major organs like the lungs, heart,kidneys and liver to age prematurely, thereby shortening their potential life expectancy.

4. Dental disease can lead to tooth loss

Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar buildup leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause oral pain, dysfunction, tooth loss and systemic complications.

5. Pet owners are looking for a convenient solution

Brushing is the gold standard for keeping the teeth free of tartar, the mouth healthy and the breath fresh. Fewer than one out of 20 pet owners are willing or able to brush their pet’s teeth on a regular basis. That means 19 out of 20 pet owners are open to a more convenient way to control dental disease and doggie breath.

Remember that illnesses and complications caused by periodontal disease are generally preventable with regular checkups and teeth cleanings from your veterinarian. Preventable diseases and ailments are usually not covered by your Pets Best policy, so it is important to maintain the health of your pet’s teeth to avoid costly problems in the future. To further help avoid periodontal disease complications, consider brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis and using an oral hygiene cleansing solution. Check out Oxyfresh’s complete line of superior pet care products that include all-natural, cruelty-free ingredients such as Oxygene® for maximum odor-fighting and oral health.

Top 5 Dog Travel Concerns

Posted on: June 18th, 2009 by

June Pets Best Newsletter – In this issue:
5 Reasons to Promote Pet Dental Health
For a Healthier, Happier Life … Every Pet Deserves Oxyfresh

It’s summer! Keep your dog safe and happy when you hit the road

For many of us summer is travel season; a time when the entire family finally has some precious time together for rest, relaxation and recreation. Of course, if you are a pet owner and lover like me, your dog is likely to be traveling with you. So don’t let poor planning for your dog’s travel turn your vacation into a disaster. Here are some pet travel basics to follow and pitfalls to avoid:

Top 5 Dog Travel Concerns

1. Anxiety: Dogs can be scaredy cats on the road

Some dogs get all excited at the prospect of a car ride. They jump eagerly into the car and watch happily out the window. Others are afraid. They have travel anxiety. These dogs must be dragged into the vehicle and they pant, tremble and stay crouched down for the entire trip. Different feeding times, a strange bed, long car rides, lots of commotion and unfamiliar faces can all be stressors for your pet that can have a wide range of side effects — from having an accident in the vehicle to getting aggressive. Consider a safe and natural supplement to calm your pet. Although supplements are not covered by your Pets Best policy, your small investment could help to make your dog more comfortable.

2. Dehydration: Quench thirst to avoid medical issues

Dehydration in dogs is common during warm weather, travel or any time your dog doesn’t have access to water for an extended period of time. Signs of dehydration range from excessive panting and dry mouth to loss of elasticity in the skin, sunken eyes and exhaustion. Dehydration can occur quickly as a lot of moisture is lost when pets pant from either anxiety or summer heat. Plenty of fresh cool water is essential to maintain proper hydration and organ function and avoid possible heat stroke. Pack water in a sealable container — and don’t forget the bowl.

3. Pet Odors: Never Pleasant on a Trip

If you have had problems with noxious pet odors in your vehicle, you know that getting rid of the odor is very difficult. Traveling in the close confines of an automobile exaggerates odors from pets. Dogs often find unpleasant things to roll in at parks and rest stops and a soiled crate quickly diminishes the air quality. And it’s not just the nasty odor. Pet feces and urine can pose a real health danger to you and your family. Be sure to pack deodorizers and cleaners to keep your pet and your family safe, clean and fresh.

4. Digestive upset: Calm his topsy-turvy tummy
Travel or motion sickness is caused by movement in different directions, particularly when the animal is sitting or standing still in a moving vehicle. It can also happen when there is a loss of visual contact with the outside horizon or due to pressure changes through elevation changes. These events may cause changes in the balance center of the inner ear, leading to fatigue, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting. Your dog is experiencing enough changes during travel season, so try not to alter his normal diet. And include healthy snacks to keep him energized and happy.

5. Emergencies: Be prepared for the unexpected
Medical problems and injuries can be even more difficult to deal with when you are on the road. Be sure to have a pet first aid kit, medical records, your veterinarian’s number and a pet poison control phone number with you at all times. Next, be sure every family member knows where these things are at and that they are readily accessible.

Small efforts in organizing and preparation can pay large dividends for both you and your pet during your next travel. Tips like ensuring access to an online vet locator can help make sure you are prepared for any pet emergencies. Plan ahead for pet-friendly locations and if one of your destinations does not allow pets be sure to have scouted out a nearby boarding facility you are comfortable with and make reservations well in advance.

Now that you are ready, get out and have fun!

-Article submitted by Boyd Harrell, DVM – Oxyfresh Pet Consultant

Too Many Homeless Pets: What Can We Do?

Posted on: June 15th, 2009 by

I found another stray dog today. He was wandering my neighborhood with no collar and no identification. He’s the third one this year! I usually walk them around the neighborhood, ask the neighbors if they look familiar, then take them to the local animal shelter. I hang “found dog” signs if I have time.

I hope that their owners will find them or they’ll get adopted; I’d keep them all if I could.

It made me wonder how many dogs and cats end up in US animal shelters or rescue shelters. Estimates vary a lot—there could be anywhere from 6 to 12 million every year, according to my research.

Many of these are lost or homeless pets, but there are also plenty who are surrendered by their owners. Why? Good question. A government study I read gave some of the major reasons:

  • 11% of cat owners say “There are too many pets in our home.”
  • 7% of dog owners and 8% of cat owners give up pets because they are moving
  • 8% of cats are relinquished because of allergies
  • 6% of both dog and cat owners say that their landlord won’t allow the pet
  • For 5% of dogs and 6% of cats, owners say it costs too much to care for them

The study went on to say that 25% of the dogs are eventually adopted and 16% are reunited with their families. Almost all of the rest are killed. Adoption statistics are almost the same for cats, but nearly 71% end up getting euthanized.

Want to help this sad situation? Here are a few things to think about:

  • If your pet is lost, check your local shelters right away.
  • Make sure your pet always wears a collar with current identification.
  • Thinking of getting a new dog or cat? Save a life–consider pet adoption first!
  • No room for a new pet? You can help by donating your money or time to a local shelter. They might also appreciate old towels, blankets, pet food, cat litter, etc. Call them and ask what they need.
  • Make sure all your pets are spayed or neutered. There are too many cats and dogs as it is, and too many wasted lives.

Cats: More Popular But Less Insured?

Posted on: June 11th, 2009 by

Did you know that cats are the most popular pets in the nation? It’s true. The estimated number of pet dogs in the US is only around 75 million, while the number of pet cats is closer to 90 million!

Clearly, Americans love their cats. So it’s hard to explain the reason why, when it comes to pet health insurance, we have adopted an attitude that says our canine companions need more care than our feline friends. For one example, the pet health insurance policies that US pet owners purchase for their dogs vastly outnumber those for cats.

There are several reasons for this, like the fact that owners of indoor cats think their pets are not at risk for disease or injury. Also, cats tend to hide their illness symptoms more than dogs do, and are generally more independent. These traits can lead owners to think they don’t need the level of care that a dog does.

Whether you are planning adoption of a new cat or already own several, there are plenty of reasons to consider pet insurance for your cats:

  • Cats are at risk for serious diseases such as hyperthyroidism, kidney and heart failure, diabetes and cancer
  • Cats typically live longer than dogs, so old-age health issues are common
  • In general, health insurance for cats costs less than for dogs
  • If you already have other pets insured through Pets Best, the Multiple Pet Discount could save you even more
  • Pet owners with pet health insurance are more likely to take their pets to the vet for routine care, meaning better prevention and early detection of health issues
  • If your cat contracts cancer or some other serious disease down the road, a current insurance policy could mean the difference between holding on to a beloved friend or saying goodbye forever

By insuring and caring for our cats the way we do our dogs, we can give them longer, better quality lives. It’s a great way to tell them you love them!