Flea Season is here!

Flea and tick season has arrived in the midwest! Which means it’s time to get started on flea prevention on both your pet and in your home. Preventing fleas includes treating three different areas: your home, your yard and your pet.

Indoor Flea Prevention
Indoor flea prevention starts with vacuuming. You will want to vacuum high traffic areas daily and other areas weekly. This will help remove any fleas or larvae that are present in your carpet. When you change the vacuum bag, be sure to put it in a plastic bag and seal it to prevent the fleas from getting back into your home.

If you have a severe flea problem, you may want to treat your home with an insecticide, such as a fogger or spray. Virbac offers a great fogger that works really well. You will want the fogger to contain IGR or insect growth regulator, which stops the flea’s life cycle by not allowing them to develop into adults.

You will want to wash your pet’s bedding in hot water weekly to kill any fleas that are present. Don’t forget to treat your car, garage, basement or any other areas that your pet spends time.

Outdoor Treatment
Outdoor treatment involves treating the yard, kennel, patio, and any other areas in which your pet frequents. Fleas like moist, warm areas that contain organic debris. So, get out the rake and get busy. Remove any organic debris with the rake to expose the areas where the fleas are present and to allow the yard treatment to reach these areas. Once you have these areas cleaned out, you can treat them with Siphotrol Yard Spray. It covers 5,000 square feet and can prevent reinfestation for up to 4 weeks.

Pet Treatment
Treating your pet for fleas is easy with a topical spot-on, such as Frontline. Frontline is a once a month treatment that is applied to the back of your pet’s neck. The medication is spread throughout your pet’s body by his or her hair.

For severe infestations that need to be taken care of immediately, you can use a flea dip such as Adam’s Flea & Tick Dip. Adam’s kills and repels fleas, ticks, lice, gnats and mosquitoes for up to 7 days. It is easy to apply, you just sponge it on and let it dry, no rinsing required. You can also use an oral medication, such as Capstar, which kills fleas within 4-6 hours and is effective for 24 hours; however, I wouldn’t recommend you use this on a daily basis.

As you can see, it is pretty easy to keep your pet and your home flea free. Prevent infestation before it happens by starting to treat your pet and your home now!

Forever Preservation of your Pet

Animal Mummies

I saw a show on National Geographic the other day, to be honest, it kinda creeped me out. For a video, click here. The show highlights a mummification of pets done by Summum a company out of Utah. As everyone probably knows, mummification dates back to Egypt where not only people, but animals were also mummified. It was part of their religion and common practice, but modern day mummies. I just don’t know what to think.

From Summum’s web site:

The Summum science of Mummification revives the ancient art of wrapping the body and treating it with oil, while Transference aids the journey of your pet’s essence to its next destination. When the Mummification and Transference are complete, we place your pet within a bronze Mummiform and rejoin you with your beloved companion. Your cherished friend has been transformed, as the caterpillar to a butterfly, in the promise of another tomorrow.

Now I know some people are greatly bonded with their pets, but for the price of mummification are you that bonded? Plus, what happens to your pet after you pass away? Who is going to take care of your mummy dog?

What do you think about mummifying your pet? Would you do it? Why?

Pet Identification, Why It’s Important!

Each year millions of lost or abandoned pets are taken to shelters, rescues or lose their lives on the street. Less than 15% of dogs and less than 5% of cats in these situations are ever returned to their owners. Without identification, no one can identify whose pet is coming through their doors.

What is the best way to identify my pet?
The best way to make sure you pet gets identified is to get him or her microchipped. The microchip should be used in conjunction with a traditional collar and tags.

Why can’t I just use a collar?
Collars are a good way to identify your pet, but collars can come off and get lost. Without the collar there is no other way to identify your pet.

I have a cat that is only indoors, why should I get her microchipped?
Cats, by nature, are sneaky little critters and they can easily slip out the door between someone’s legs or if you’re carrying in a big package and can’t get the door shut right away. I know, this has happened to me! Or what if there is a fire, or a flood or some other kind of natural disaster? How would someone know that this was your cat? With a microchip they would!

What is a microchip?
Microchips are very small, about the size of a grain of rice. They are implanted with a needle below your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Each microchip has its own unique code so when the chip is scanned, your pet can easily be identified. The chip is coated with a special material that causes scar tissue to form around it, preventing the chip from moving and locking it in place.

Will the chip have to be replaced?
No, most microchips will last 75 years, well beyond the lifetime of most pets.

Where can I get my pet microchipped? How much does it cost?
Most veterinarians, humane societies, or shelters will microchip your pet. The price will vary depending on your area, most vets charge about $30-$45. If you prefer to do it yourself, you can purchase HomeAgain microchips from PetSupplies4Less.com. Once your pet has received his HomeAgain microchip, you can go to the HomeAgain website and register him or her. For a fee of $19.99 you can be registered in the National Database for the lifetime of your pet, or if you wish, you can pay $19.99 annually and receive other benefits, including:

  • Proactive Pet Recovery offers
    • Lost Pet Alerts to local clinics, shelters and PetRescuers
    • Lost Pet Posters for immediate assistance in finding
      your pet
  • Pet ID Card with pet’s name, photo, vet information and emergency clinic contact information, to carry with you
  • 24/7 Emergency Medical Assistance ASPCA veterinarians provide telephone assistance in emergency situations (a $55 value free to HomeAgain members)
  • Lost Pet Medical Insurance will reimburse you for emergency medical treatment up to $3,000 (less a $50 deductible)

What do I do if my pet is lost?
First, call HomeAgain or wherever your pet’s microchip is registered and notify them. Call local veterinarians and shelters and alert them of a lost pet. For more tips, check out this blog post, How to Find A Lost Pet.

Fashion Savvy – Kitty Wigs

We all know that some people like to dress up their dogs, but now more and more people are dressing up their cats. Yes, I said cats! There is nothing your fashion savvy kitty needs more than a kitty wig! I’m serious, you can get a wig for your cat.

Flash the Cat Modeling a White WigKitty Wigs* offers four different wigs to choose from. They come in pink, blonde, white and electric blue. Each wig arrives in its own metal carrying case along with a hair net and a mouse rattle. All for only $50.

Kitty Wigs is owned by Julie Jackson and her Siamese cat, Boone. After a stressful day, she would come home, put a wig on herself and Boone and dance around the room. Soon, she decided that her passion should be shared with others, so she founded KittyWigs.com.

Not only that, twenty percent of her profits are donated to the ASPCA! Thank you Julie for supporting a good cause!

So if your cat is fashion savvy and doesn’t mind being dressed up. (This would never EVER fly with Mister Bits, he doesn’t even like collars!) Stop on over to Julie’s site and get your cat a Kitty Wig!

*Wigs and other cat clothing should always be worn under strict human supervision to prevent injury or accident ingestion of clothing parts.

Glucosamine & Your Pet’s Joint Health

Like humans, as our pets age, their joints and ligaments age too. They become stiff and painful, hampering your pet’s way of life. However, with treatment, these symptoms can be alleviated and your pet can regain mobility. By supplementing your pet’s diet with Glucosamine, you can help your pet maintain healthy joints and flexibility.

Glucosamine has long been known in Europe for its ability to relieve the pain and symptoms associated with arthritis and joint degeneration. It has recently become more popular in the United States and is now being used for joint health in pets.

What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a building block of cartilage tissue. Cartilage, the tissue found at the ends of the bones and along the joints, is a sponge-like mass of cells that acts like a cushion to the joints. Glucosamine is found naturally in the body and is composed of glucose and an amino acid, glutamine. It helps produce glycosaminoglycan, which is used to build and repair cartilage and other tissues.

Which supplement?
There are a huge variety of Glucosamine supplements on the market today, both for humans and animals. The amount of Glucosamine per dose varies greatly between products.

Glucosamine is also often combined with Chondroitin. Chondroitin helps block enzymes that break down cartilage. Methysulfonyimethane or MSM, is also often combined with Glucosamine, it is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, which helps aid in relieving the pain of arthritis.

Glucosamine can be found in two different forms, Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCl) and Glucosamine sulfate. They both work well in pets, however, the Glucosamine HCl is purer and provides more Glucosamine per unit weight.

Although you can use human Glucosamine for your pet, it is better to choose one that is specifically developed for animals as these products contain Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) that helps your pet more efficiently absorb the Glucosamine.

PetSupplies4Less.com offers a large variety of arthritis and joint care supplements, such as Cosequin, Glyco-Flex and SynoviCre. You’re sure to find the right supplement to fit your pet’s needs.

Omega-3 Supplements

Most Omega-3 supplements come as skin and coat supplements for your pet. These supplements contain a combination of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Often these supplements are given to pets to help treat skin or coat disorders, inflammation, itching, allergies or shedding.

Yellow Tiger Cat

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids (EFAs) as you and your pet, can’t live without them! They are critical for cellular function and can only be obtained through your pet’s diet. These EFAs help distribute oxygen to the blood stream, improve skin texture, coat cell membranes, relieves inflammation, and helps reduce allergy responses.

Omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

EPA and DHA are found primarily in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut and herring, and fish oil supplements. ALA is found in dark, leafy greens, and in soybeans, walnuts, flaxseeds and their oils, as well as canola oil (Holistic Pet).

Many pet foods only contain a minimum of EFA, which isn’t enough to support good health in most pets. By supplementing your pet’s low-fat diet with Omega-3 supplements, you can assure that your pet gets the best nutrition for a healthy skin and coat. With the addition of Omega-3 supplements, you can see results in your pet as early as 2-3 weeks, but it will take longer (about 10-12 weeks) to see optimum results.

Chiropractic Therapy for Pets

Chiropractic is an alternative health care profession that has been traditionally practiced in humans, but has now begun to move to the animal world. Spinal manipulation is nothing new, in fact, it has been around almost as long as acupuncture, which was being used by the Chinese as early as 2700 B.C.

Chiropractic focuses on the treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It involves manual manipulation of the spinal column and other joints and soft tissues. It is believed that joint dysfunction can interfere with the nervous system and result in diminished health. When something is out of place, whether it be a bone or damaged muscle or nerves, it throws the entire body off.

The goal of chiropractic is to fix spinal misalignments or subluxations. These misalignments can cause a variety of symptoms from pain to swelling to loss of movement.

Some symptoms to look for include:

  • sitting with legs out to one side
  • favoring limbs
  • stiffness
  • refusing to go up or down stairs
  • changes in behavior
  • sensitivity to touch along the back
  • pain and swelling
  • changes in coordination

Subluxations can be caused by trauma, over exertion or just normal wear and tear. These subluxations are corrected by first performing an examination and x-rays. This will help the chiropractor determine which part of the spine is misaligned. Then, the chiropractor will gently manipulate the spine to help realign it.

Care usually requires multiple visits as it takes time to heal the ligaments, muscles, etc. that have been out of place. It’s important to remember that the chiropractor doesn’t heal your pet, but your pet’s body does. The number of visits varies depending on the animal and the amount of misalignment. Some pets will require a monthly adjustment, while others may require more frequent visits.

I am a strong advocate of chiropractic for humans, being a patient myself, but I hadn’t ever realized that it has been used in animals. It does, however, make sense as they have similar bone structures to humans. It is kind of amazing how much human and veterinary science overlap. Pets receive the same kinds of medications that we do, they have similar treatments (even laser surgery!), so I can understand how it works.

Has anyone ever used chiropractic for yourself or your pets? I’d like to hear your stories!

To find out if there is a Veterinary Chiropractor in your area, visit the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

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