First Aid

first_aid

Never leave dangerous objects like pins, needles, or fish hooks within reach. Keep poisonous products and materials far from your pet's reach as you would with a child.

Of course, before an emergency ever arises, it’s a good idea to learn all you can about first aid techniques and pet health care. Never leave dangerous objects like pins, needles, or fish hooks within reach. Keep poisonous products and materials far from your pet’s reach as you would with a child.  Be well aware of your pet’s normal behavior, so you can recognize what’s not normal. Remember that the objective is to relieve suffering . . . perhaps even to save a life. Emergency first aid is most effective when rendered quickly, but calmly.

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Recognizing Illnesses

seasonal_illness

The AVMA suggests that you consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs:

Only a healthy pet is a happy companion. Assuring your pet’s daily well-being requires regular care and close attention to any hint of ill health. The American Veterinary Medical Association therefore suggests that you consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs:

  • Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes, or other body openings.
  • Abnormal behavior, sudden viciousness, or lethargy.
  • Abnormal lumps, limping, or difficulty getting up or lying down.
  • Loss of appetite, marked weight losses or gains, or excessive water consumption.
  • Difficult, abnormal, or uncontrolled waste elimination.
  • Excessive head shaking, scratching, and licking or biting any part of the body.
  • Dandruff, loss of hair, open sores, or a ragged or dull coat.
  • Foul breath or excessive tarter deposits on teeth.

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Seasonal Care

Heat Stroke
Heatstroke may kill or seriously injure your pet – but it can easily be avoided. Never leave pets in cars on warm days; exercise during the cool part of the day; look for rapid breathing;loud panting; or staggering. Professional help may be needed, but in the meantime quickly get the animal to a shady ventilated area, and sponge off with cool water.

Flea Season
As a loving pet owner, you’d do anything to prevent your cat or dog from suffering. After all, they’re part of the family. Yet every year when flea season begins, the suffering sets in. It’s like an old broken record. Fleas bite, and the scratching and chewing starts again. It’s a painful and irritating routine for you and your pet. But that’s just the beginning. Adult fleas jump on your cat or dog. They bite them to feed on the blood. Then the fleas produce eggs. Eggs drop from your pet to the ground or carpet. The eggs develop over time into adult fleas. And the cycle starts all over again.

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Mealtime

mealtime

Be careful not to overfeed. Generally, portion as much as the puppy can consume in 5 to 10 minutes at a given meal.

Puppies

Feed a high quality diet designed for puppies. A wide variety of diets and formulations are available and your veterinarian should be your primary source of information as to the best choice for your puppy. The amount fed will vary with the type of food and the individual dog, but in general, should only be as much as the puppy can consume in 5 to 10 minutes at a given meal. Puppies are usually fed 3 times daily when between 6 and 12 weeks old, 2 times daily when 12 weeks to 6 months old, and may be fed 1 or 2 times daily when older than 6 months. For certain large breeds of dogs, your veterinarian may recommend that several smaller meals be fed rather than 1 large meal (even when your dog becomes an adult) because an association has been suggested between the consumption of large meals and a serious medical condition called gastric dilatation/volvulus or “bloat.”

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Grooming

grooming

Regular nail care is important to a healthy canine.

Dogs

Regular brushing, bathing, and nail care are essential. Protect your puppy’s eyes and ears when bathing, and don’t allow the puppy to become chilled after bathing. Your veterinarian may recommend that you do not bathe your puppy when it is younger than 10 to 12 weeks unless absolutely necessary (especially if your puppy is one of the smaller breeds).

Cats

Cats do a good job of grooming themselves, but regular brushing to prevent matting of hair is important. Cats rarely need a bath, but one can be given if necessary. Cats object to bathing in slippery tubs, so give your kitten something to cling to, such as a wood platform or a wire screen. Use a shampoo designed for cats and kittens, as some dog shampoos may be irritating.

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Obedience & Training

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Obedience training helps prevent negative encounters between family members and the dog. It reinforces the bond between the handler(s) and pet.

Obedience Training

A MUST for every good family dog, regardless of size or breed! Puppies may start classes when they are as young as 8 weeks old. Obedience training is fun. It helps prevent negative encounters between family members and the dog. It reinforces the bond between the handler(s) and pet. Consult veterinarians, breeders, local training clubs, YMCAs, recreation centers, and newspaper columns on dogs or pets for details about classes, costs, and requirements.

Housebreaking

Begin as soon as the puppy arrives in your home. Young puppies should be taken out immediately upon waking and just before retiring, as well as multiple times during the day. Most puppies cannot “hold it” for long periods so it will be necessary to take the puppy out almost every hour at first (especially after periods of play, naps, and mealtimes), and then gradually increase the amount of time between visits to the “bathroom.” Take the puppy to the same area each time and praise it immediately and enthusiastically when it eliminates. Do not play with, or talk to, the puppy until after it has eliminated. Remember, if the puppy doesn’t eliminate outside, its urine and feces are being saved for deposit inside your house!

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Exams, Vaccinations, Etc.

Vaccinations

Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals.

Pets, like people, can be protected from some diseases by vaccination. Although this resource provides basic information about vaccinations for your dog or cat, your veterinarian is your best source for advice regarding your pet’s vaccination needs.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians.

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Bringing Your Pet Home

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The AVMA strongly recommends that for a healthier, happier pet you consider keeping your pets indoors only.

Prepare your house for your pet’s arrival. A special place should be designated for it to eat, sleep, and eliminate. Obtain any necessary accessories (eg, collar, leash, ID tag, crate, cage, aquarium and dishes) before you bring your pet home. For most pets, you will need to pet-proof your home just as you would child-proof your home to avoid accidents. Harmful cleansers, plants, electrical cords, and breakable objects should be kept out of reach. Open windows should be screened.

Roaming pets are prime candidates for fights with other animals, traffic accidents, and communicable diseases from other animals. Their life span can be expected to be considerably shorter as a result.

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Rescue Agency

rescue_agency

Rescue agency animals are often already housebroken and know some basic obedience.

Rescuing an animal is a wonderful option for some families.  Animals find their way into rescue agencies for a variety of reasons. Some may have been accidentally lost or abandoned. Others may have been given up due to their owners’ illness, death, or other change in circumstance. You may not be able to know the history of the animal you adopt, but you will still bring home a fine companion–one who is grateful to you for giving him a second chance at a home and happiness.

All rescue groups carefully screen the animals in their care for health and temperament before offering them for adoption. The animals are often already housebroken and know some basic obedience.  Rescue agencies provides a sanctuary for animals in need. Shelters provide animal veterinary care, spay/neuter, shots, high quality food, a temporary foster home not a kennel, love, and placement into a home for life under a contract that dictates their humane care.

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Pet Shop

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Critics of pet stores argue that there are numerous problems with the way most stores acquire, care for, and sell animals.

A pet shop is a place where dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, rodents, fish, and other animals not born and raised on those premises are kept for the purpose of sale to the public.  While many people are very satisfied with the pets they acquire from pet stores, critics of pet stores argue that there are numerous problems with the way most stores acquire, care for, and sell animals.

Many stores acquire most or all of their stock from large-scale commercial breeding operations that may also supply animals to industries that pet store patrons could find morally objectionable (such as cosmetics testing). Though not all of these facilities breed dogs, most are essentially the equivalent of puppy mills for other species. Overcrowded cages and long, stressful journeys via air or truck can cause the spread of disease, resulting in sick animals arriving in the store.

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