Pets:

 

Dental
 Health

Aging
Pet Care

Ticks
and Fleas

Natural
 Pet Food

Dog Show

Pet Safety

Healthy Bird Treats

Aroma Therapy Calms Dogs

 

Dental Health Is Vital To Your Pet's Total Well-Being

(NAPSI)-Pet lovers who are dedicated to the care and lifelong well-being of their companion animals should include dental hygiene in their animals' regular health and wellness routine. That's the advice of Dr. Jennifer Jablow, a passionate animal rescuer, dedicated volunteer at North Shore Animal League America, and a pet owner. Known as "Dentist to the Stars," Dr. Jablow is pet dental advisor to the Animal League, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. She offers these guidelines to help owners maintain their animals' optimum oral health.

• Dental hygiene is as important to your pets overall health as nutrition and exercise.

• Poor dental hygiene can cause dental disease. Dental disease creates bacteria in the mouth and can cause oral pain, halitosis, tooth loss and periodontal disease, and even affect the heart and kidneys, intestinal tract and joints. Also, a pet in dental pain is not a happy pet and the pain can affect his/her ability to eat.

• It's important to brush your pet's teeth as early as possible. When their adult teeth are in, at about 6-9 months old, it is the best time to start a toothbrushing regimen.

• Avoid dental products containing xylitol, as it is highly toxic to dogs and questionable for cats. NEVER use human toothpaste to clean pets' teeth and gums.

• Your pet should have annual dental checkups by his/her veterinarian.

• Good dental hygiene can add years to your pet's life.

North Shore Animal League America each year rescues, nurtures and adopts over 18,000 homeless dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Your support can help the Animal League build a full-service pet dental suite that will offer extended services for helpless dogs and cats in advanced stages of dental disease, including many of the shelter's rescues. To learn more about the work of the Animal League, and the health and well-being of companion animals, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.

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Tips On Caring For An Aging Pet

(NAPSI)-As people age, their health care needs change. The same is true for their pets.

Many Americans already have firsthand knowledge of what it's like to care for an aging pet. According to a recent survey at the Global Pet Expo, over 69 million U.S. households have at least one pet, and about 75 percent of those have an older pet in the house.

To help your pet get the care it needs as it gets older, here are some tips to assist you as you work to maintain his or her health:

• See the vet--Because pets age faster than people, annual checkups are a good idea for younger pets. Once your dog or cat reaches midlife, around 7 years old, it's a good idea to check with your vet to see if more-frequent visits may be necessary. Regular checkups will allow your vet to establish a baseline for examinations and thus more easily identify changes and illness.

• Be a weight watcher--Obesity is the No. 1 problem in the pet population. Exercise, reducing treats and checking with your vet on appropriate portion size should help them shed extra pounds. Some pets may need to switch to a lower-calorie diet as well.

• A hidden concern--Along with doing a routine physical exam, encourage your veterinarian to check your pet's blood pressure. High blood pressure in dogs and cats can lead to blindness and strokes and is often a symptom of high thyroid levels in cats.

• Exercise--Exercise not only helps keep off extra pounds, it also helps you keep an eye on their mobility to help watch for early signs of arthritis. Dogs should get at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Use a toy and play with your cats often to keep them moving. Just like with humans, joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin ease some pain by helping heal cartilage damage. Cosequin® is the No. 1 veterinary-recommended over-the-counter supplement for both cats and dogs to help keep them moving.

• Digestion--Poor digestion is a common problem in aging pets. Adding more fiber to the diet can help them better absorb needed nutrients. Probiotics, such as those available in Proviable-DC, may also help normalize your pet's digestive health during times of stress, travel or with any changes in diet.

• Supplement their diet--Much like with humans, your pets may benefit from nutritional supplements designed to address specific needs. Omega-3 fatty acids help support normal heart rhythm, your pet's immune system and kidney function, and help keep their skin and coat looking their best. Dermaquin and Welactin for dogs and cats both provide healthy doses of omega-3 in a convenient administration form.

Founded in 1999, EntirelyPets offers nonprescription medications and supplies, providing high-quality, brand-name products at low prices. To learn more, visit www.entirelypets.com.

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Keeping Your Pet Safe From Pets

(NAPSI)-With the return of warm weather, everyone--including the family pet--is likely to be spending more time outdoors in the coming months. But pet owners need to be especially cautious, as insects like fleas and ticks can pose a serious health risk to dogs, cats and other animals during the spring and summer.

Fleas, for example, are not just an itchy annoyance. Known for leaving itchy red bumps, their saliva can cause anemia and dermatitis and transfer tapeworms.

"Fleas are known for their quick breeding capabilities and a handful on your pet can quickly turn into hundreds in your home if left unchecked," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). "Their small size and mobility make it impossible to detect them on surfaces such as carpets and linens, but a pest professional can help eradicate an infestation."

Ticks can be equally hazardous to family pets. Female ticks can attach near a pet's spinal cord, causing "tick paralysis." The condition causes muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

The NPMA recommends these tips to help reduce your pet's exposure to fleas and ticks:

• Check pets frequently for fleas and flea dirt. Be aware of excessive scratching, licking and nibbling grooming behavior in pets.

• Avoid walking in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of fleas hitching a ride.

• Avoid tick habitats such as low-growing brushy vegetation along the edge of the woods or a trail.

• Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.

• Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.

• Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently. Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.

If you suspect a pest problem, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to treat the problem.

For more information or to find a professional, you can visit www.pestworld.org.

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Be The Cat's Meow! How To Achieve True Wellness For Your Pet

(NAPSI)-Today's pet owner has more facts at her fingertips than ever before to link high-quality nutrition with improving a dog's or cat's overall health and well-being. And with them, more new products promising long-term health benefits are entering the market every day.

How should pet-loving consumers determine what's best to achieve true wellness for their cats or dogs at home?

Board-certified veterinary nutritionist Dr. Edward Moser advises pet owners to feed their dogs and cats a healthy, balanced, natural diet, coupled with ample opportunities for exercise. For starters, he says, when selecting a pet food, seek high-quality, wholesome ingredients just as you do for yourself.

"To help a dog or cat achieve true wellness, carefully consider what's in its food bowl," Dr. Moser counsels. "Look for natural ingredients whose names you understand, and recipes that are nutritionally balanced. This first step will improve their lives in ways you can see, from a shiny coat to increased energy, fewer allergies and a longer, happier, healthier life."

Dr. Moser recommends feeding them Wellness® Natural Food for Pets. For over a decade, Wellness has developed nutritious natural recipes that include quality protein sources for muscle health, wholesome grains to provide fiber and energy, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for natural antioxidant protection, and carefully chosen omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Each Wellness recipe has been specially formulated with the specific needs of cats and dogs in mind, whatever their life stage or lifestyle. Like Wellness Just for Puppy, made with nutrient-rich whole foods that fulfill a puppy's special developmental nutritional requirements. Or Wellness Indoor Health for cats, formulated for felines with indoor, sedentary lifestyles; the recipe features less fat and fewer calories and also assists with hairball control.

"Once you've got the animal's diet mastered, look at adding more exercise into your cat's or dog's routine," Dr. Moser continued. "This can be easily achieved by incorporating long walks and lots of play-time to help guide them on the path to true wellness."

Finally, Dr. Moser recommends yearly well pet checkups at the veterinarian. While a healthy diet and regular exercise help prevent long-term health issues, a regular checkup will help ensure that you're on the right track.

For more information, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.

Photo by Mike Parker

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Delightful Days For Dog Lovers

(NAPSI)-New dogs, it seems, can be up to old tricks.

If it's beginning to feel like The Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show has been with you your entire life, and unless you are older than 134 years of age, it has.

The show has survived power outages, snowstorms, a national depression, two World Wars and a tugboat strike that threatened to shut down the city. In the process, Westminster has become "America's Dog Show" as well as the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the country. Only the Kentucky Derby has been staged longer--but by just one year.

Then

In the early Westminster years, some interesting names showed up in the catalogs. In the first show, there were two Deerhounds that had been bred by the Queen of England. In 1889, the Czar of Russia was listed as the breeder of a Siberian Wolfhound entered and the following year, one of the entries is a Russian Wolfhound whose listed owner was the Emperor of Germany.

Philanthropist J.P. Morgan made the first of his many appearances at Westminster with his Collies in 1893. Famous American journalist Nelly Bly entered her Maltese at Westminster in 1894.

The most-coveted award in the dog show world, Best In Show at Westminster, was given for the first time in 1907. That year, and for the next two years as well, it went to a Smooth Fox Terrier named Warren Remedy. She remains the only dog ever to win three times.

Now

In 2010, the show had to compete against both the Winter Olympics and Fashion Week in New York City, yet it was entirely sold out at Madison Square Garden for the fifth year in a row.

Sponsored by Pedigree, the two-day show exhibits 2,500 dogs in seven categories: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Nonsporting and Herding.

The 2010 winner, a 4-year-old Scottish Terrier named Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot--or Sadie, for short--became the eighth Scottie to win Best in Show at Westminister--more than any breed other than the Wire Fox Terrier (13). The 134th Best in Show winner was raised in Michigan's landmarked Grand Hotel. Sadie's been on the dog show circuit for two years now and won top Terrier at Westminster last year. Sadie's next stop is a trip to California, where she'll live with her trainer's family and be bred, but she'll return home to Michigan to have her puppies.

Learn More

You can follow Sadie's life during her reigning year, and all the Club's canine activities all year long on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Wkcdogs, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WKCDogShow, on Buzz at www.westminsterkennelclub.org/buzz and on the club's own Web site, www.westminsterkennelclub.org. Plans are already under way for the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, to be held once again at Madison Square Garden on February 14−15, 2011.

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Clean Safely To Protect Your Pet

(NAPSI)-The next time you come home to the heartwarming sight of your cat or dog eagerly awaiting you, nose pressed to the window, you may want to consider if they should be engaging in such risky behavior.

The Problem

The risk comes from the products you may have used to clean that window. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, U.S. dogs and cats may also be in danger from such common pet activities as drinking from the toilet and eating crumbs off the floor.

The survey of dog and cat owners in the U.S. found more cats (23 percent) than dogs (16 percent) drink from the toilet, most dogs and cats (77 percent) eat crumbs off the floor and about half press their noses against windows. Dogs and cats that pad across a freshly mopped kitchen floor, then lick their paws, may consume chemicals such as ammonia. When animals lick windows, they may ingest chemical cleaner residue. Pets that drink out of the toilet may be ingesting cleaning chemicals such as chlorine. Any of these can cause rashes, respiratory irritation and other health issues.

A Natural Solution

Fortunately, you can reduce the risk by using natural cleaning alternatives. The pet parents of the 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in the U.S. can turn to cleaners like PawSafe Household Cleaners that are safe for use around pets and children, too.

Formulated without harsh chemicals, using natural plant-based ingredients such as beet sugar, PawSafe Household Cleaners are just as effective as traditional cleaners at cutting through grease and grime, limescale and soap scum, without leaving dangerous chemical residues behind. In addition, they don't leave unpleasant odors to offend sensitive pet noses. In fact, PawSafe Household Cleaners have also earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for safety and cleaning effectiveness.

The Floor Cleaner, Window Cleaner, Multi-Surface Cleaner, Tub and Tile Cleaner and Toilet Cleaner can provide peace of mind for pet parents that their home is safe and clean. There's even a Toy Cleaner, so the one-third of pet owners surveyed who admitted to never cleaning their dog's or cat's chew toys can start to do it and be confident that what their animals put in their mouths will be free of household chemicals.

Learn More

To find out more about keeping your pets safe, visit www.PawSafeCleaners.com.

Obesity is a top health concern for veterinarians.

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For The Birds

(NAPSI)-Americans love their feathered friends--with 65 million people feeding the birds that visit their backyards.

A new book offers these backyard birders some ideas to tweet about. "For the Birds" contains 50 all-natural recipes--from fruity favorites to beak-smacking suets and enticing nectars--to delight steady backyard guests and lure a variety of new species as well. No exotic ingredients are required.

Here's a recipe to help birds produce healthy eggs.

CALCIUM FEAST

3 cups wild birdseed or homemade seed mix

3−5 eggs (shells only)

Rinse the shells and put them on a cookie sheet to bake at 350°F (177°C) until dry. Use a rolling pin or spoon to crush them into fine pieces and sprinkle them into your seed mixture. Fill a tube feeder with this calcium-enhanced seed or serve in a tray feeder. Yields: 3 cups

You'll find more recipes like this as well as tips on how to make recycled feeders using coconuts, grapefruits, muffin tins or apple boxes. Easy-to-read charts also let readers know which plants, feeders and nesting boxes are best for the types of birds they want to attract.

"For the Birds" is published by Reader's Digest and is available wherever books are sold.

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Natural Way To Calm Your Dog

(NAPSI)-Some dogs are naturally fretful or overactive.

"Chihuahuas are small," says Cindy Skarda, trainer and founder of The Canine Coach in southern Wisconsin. "They feel vulnerable and can become defensive and reactive.

"Some of the herding breeds can have a constant focus on movement. If their need to work isn't fulfilled, they can become fretful, sometimes panting, pacing or whining, and it can often lead to chasing cars or bicycles."

There has been a growing trend among veterinarians to prescribe anti-anxiety medications for nervous dogs. While effective in many situations, these medications carry the same potential problems and contraindications as medications for humans.

Many canine professionals and owners have discovered alternatives to using these medications. Changing the diet, learning proper canine communication, and using natural remedies such as herbs and aromatherapy can be better choices to help relax dogs and improve behavior.

Skarda is passionate about her work and her clients. She approaches each situation holistically, using a variety of tools to assist both human and canine participants in her training classes. One of her favorite tools is Canine Calm™ aromatherapy mist, which works quickly and allows the training session to continue with a "calmer, more focused dog."

Canine Calm aromatherapy mist was formulated by Vicki Rae Thorne, master herbalist and certified aromatherapist for Earth Heart™ Aromatherapy. Developed to help soothe nervous dogs in a kennel, the product is also used and recommended by groomers, trainers and veterinarians to safely and effectively relax jittery dogs and those who bark excessively. The product has been selected as one of the "Top 100 Best Pet Products for 2010" by FIDO Friendly magazine.

Canine Calm contains pure essential oils from plants such as lavender, geranium and tangerine that have historically been used in remedies for relaxation. The product can be sprayed on bedding, inside the car, around a room, on your hands for use in massage, or you can simply spray yourself and hold your dog. Canine Calm is family friendly and can be used with dogs as young as 8 to 10 weeks old.

"Customers have reported a soothing effect on their dogs during thunderstorms, fireworks, parties, travel, competition, adoptions and other unsettling times," says Thorne. "They appreciate a safe natural product that is easy to use, works quickly and smells good."

Visit www.earthheartinc.com for more information.

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