Daily Paws

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Daily Paws Labor Day, celebrating working pets

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Labor Day Pets

 

VetLocator.com Daily Paws Happy Labor Day!

In the US Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.  At VetLocator Daily Paws we’d like to take a moment to give tribute to our working pets and the contribution they make, not only to our own families, but to the increased well being of mankind and the planet.

There are so many ways our pets labor for our benefit and when you think of working pets, most people think of service animals.  But any home that has a pet knows that our pets have their role in our home that they work to fill.  So here are some different working roles, just a few we celebrate this Labor Day:

Dogs

The best known service animals are Service Dogs. A service dog is a type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities including visual difficulties, hearing impairments, mental illness, seizures, diabetes, autism, and more.  But dogs are being used for other uses too. Dogs, it turns out, are also quite capable conservationists. A group called Working Dogs for Conservation, use canines to sniff out animal and plant populations so researchers can monitor and preserve them — an eco-variation on drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs. Because of their acute sense of smell and ability to traverse rugged terrain, dogs not only effectively nose for difficult-to-detect animal scat (poop), but they also help locate rare live animals and plants. Canine conservation projects include tracking jaguars in the Amazon rain forest and Mexico and monitoring Asiatic black bears classified as vulnerable in China. In the future they may even be used to detect indoor air contaminants.

from: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/8-animals-helping-humans-save-the-planet/dogs#ixzz3C4gbCxg4

Cats

The term ‘herding cats‘ means something difficult, hard to achieve, and that is what most people think about training cats to perform a working function.  But cats are hard workers, it’s just that they work on their own terms.  The best way to get a cat to work with you is to expect your cat to do what comes naturally, namely keep areas free of rodents and unwanted critters while providing entertainment and opportunities to give them strokes.  Businesses have ‘Greeting Cats‘ that greet visitors and provide a friendly atmosphere for the business and we’ve stayed at Inns that provide a cat with the room we stayed in.  We loved it!

But did you know the hunting skill most cats inherently have is being put to use to save feral cat colonies throughout the US?  Feral cats are used to living in the wild on their own and don’t ever really adapt to being a housecat.  Living in the wild means they have to hunt to survive so they become excellent ratters and mousers.  There are now programs to help feral cat colonies use that skill in exchange for regular feeding and vet care, and that is by having them work in businesses and farms to keep their areas free of rats and mice.  One of these is called The Working Cats Program and it is a simple and green concept: relocate feral cats to suitable areas where they can work with humans who in return provide them with a place to live. It’s a different kind of forever home where the cats can do what’s natural – control rat and mice populations. Cats living in feral colonies that have been vaccinated and spayed/neutered are placed with businesses that need help controlling vermin. With cats roaming around a property and leaving their scent everywhere, rats leave the area on their own. Felines have been placed successfully with construction companies, in barns, flower shops, police stations and other businesses looking for inexpensive and effective rodent control.  Even the government uses a cat, Misty, to keep the grounds free of pests and to give workers an opportunity to pet her on their breaks.

Rats

Undetonated land mines are a serious form of pollution that leaves large geographical areas virtually uninhabitable and injures or kills thousands each year. That’s why locating and removing them from former war zones is so important. Trouble is that few human volunteers are willing to risk their lives to uncover them. Enter the rat brigade, specifically, African giant pouched rats. These fast-learning rodents, dubbed HeroRATs (which incidentally are too light to set off land mines), are being trained at the humanitarian organization APOPO to sniff out buried explosives. (APOPO is an acronym from Dutch for Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development.) The group is also training rats to locate people buried under rubble from natural disasters, as well as detect leaking gas lines and even the presence of tuberculosis in human.

from: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/8-animals-helping-humans-save-the-planet/rats#ixzz3C4gmpFY6

Sea Lions and Seals

Scientists at the University of California-Santa Cruz have teamed up with some special “researchers”  to help them document ocean temperatures, salinity and other undersea conditions. With their unique diving abilities that allow them to swim where few humans have gone before, ocean mammals such as sea lions (pictured) are being outfitted with sensors that stick to their fur and later fall off when they molt. Information is transmitted to a satellite when the animals surface to breathe and is used to create computer models that will better predict ocean circulation patterns. Elsewhere, researchers are using sensor-wearing elephant seals to dive under the Antarctic ice in search of climate change evidence. Elephant seals are even helping track the size and health of U.S. salmon populations.

from: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/8-animals-helping-humans-save-the-planet/sea-lions-and-seals#ixzz3C4gw3noU

So today we honor all those who work, including our pets.  Here’s to you!!

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It’s back to school time. Make sure you include your pets!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

School is just around the corner for most of us, and that means getting ready for a big change in routine too.  Are you ready for it? back-to-school

With all the excitement of the kids going back to school, many families may not think about what it means to the dog or cat.

Pets often get anxious when kids go back to school

You’re out gather supplies, getting new clothes, going to appointments and so on, and it’s easy to forget what might be happening with your pets during this same time.  Many pets realize something is about to happen (pets are good that way, they try and anticipate what we are doing and how it will affect their daily routine). Like most humans, pets crave a routine they can count on and back to school routine changes can make them worried, anxious and depressed.

When that happens what you may notice are changes in your pet’s behaviour, see them acting sad, moping around and sleeping a lot more. Your dog begins chewing things, your cat is not using the litter box or you see other signs of acting up.    Yes, back to school time can be very stressful for your pet.

Pets love routine because it makes them feel secure. They like knowing that certain things happen around the same time each day and they know what they are supposed to be doing when it happens. If your pets have spent the summer having kids around all day and suddenly they are gone most of the day and busy with homework at night, that can really hurt because it is a different routine and one that they’re not part of. Some pets just feel sad and confused and others feel real separation anxiety and may show it by misbehaving.

Kids and parents can help pets get through the blues by making them part of the back-to-school routine.

This is a family matter and a good opportunity for the kids to get an understanding of how changes can affect their pets. Let your kids know that their dog or cat is going to miss them when they’re gone all day and discuss what they can do to help them through through it.

Among the best ways for a pet to get over the loss of one routine is to immediately create another routine. If your pet knows that at 3:45 your youngsters will be home from school ready to play with him before they begin their homework, your pet has something totally new to look forward to. As you are working out your children’s school time routines, be sure to integrate time spent with your pets in there.  Most pets like to have their family job and share time, so one of their jobs might be to sit or lay while your child reads to the pet.  If you think of it, there can be many ways your pets can ‘help’ and be included in the new routine.  And once they know what the routine is and where they fit in it, they will relax and continue to be the furry family member that adds so much to your lives.

And while you are out shopping for new back-to-school clothes, why not get something new for your pet?  A new snazzy collar or leash to use when you walk the kids to the bus stop or for their ride when you take the kids to school.

It’s up to you and your kids to make your pets feel secure in ways they understand. And if your pet is still having issues with the kids being back in school, give your vet a call and discuss it with them.  After all, that is what we help pet owners do every day, find the right pet professional to help pet owners have happy and healthy pets!

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Poodle Eating Ritual

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Louie the poodle demands to prepare his  own supper because only he knows the ratio of the wet and dry food that he prefers. He will decline to consume if any other person mixes his food.

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Dogs in Wheelcart Playing Fetch

Friday, July 18th, 2014

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Resolve to give your pet the best pet year ever!

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

new-years-resolution

Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions to help you do just that.

If you are like me you spent some time putting together your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions to start this new year right.  Hopefully you remembered to include resolutions for your pets in yours, but just in case you have not, we thought it was a perfect time to give you some suggestions for resolutions to make 2014 an excellent year for both of you.

So without further ado, here are VetLocator’s Daily Paws 2014 Pet New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. I resolve to tell my pet I love him/her at least once a day.
    You may already do this, but for many of us (me included), making the conscious effort to do so ensures I tell my pets every day that I love them.  I know they thrive with those words being said.
  2. I resolve to take my pet to the vet for a healthy pet check up at least once, but preferably twice, this year.
    Sometimes our pets seem so darn healthy we don’t think it is necessary to take them to the vet but it is a good practice to have the vet give them a healthy pet check up at least once a year the same way we should resolve to do the same for ourselves and our families.
  3. I resolve to reserve at least 10 minutes a day of distraction free time devoted solely to sharing with my pet.
    This is such an important resolution to keep and it makes such a difference to your pet.  Many pets are well fed, get check-ups regularly, but spend such little quality time with their owners that they are quite neurotic and troublesome as a result.  For many pets, they feel it is their job to look after their owners and one of the ways they do their jobs is by helping us relax.  So make this resolution and help your pets help you to live a fuller and richer life, and by doing so you will help them in exactly the same way.
  4. I resolve to give my pet treats on a regular basis, but to not overdo the treats.
    I have this same resolution for myself – ha ha.  There is a fine line between giving treats appropriately and overdoing it and we will leave that for you to work out, but it is important to treat your pets from time to time.  It leaves you both in a good mood.
  5. I resolve to do a full body inspection of my pet at least once a month.
    Do you like to get massages?  Most people do and so does your pet.  While you are giving your pet an over-all stroking and massage, do a physical check out of how their body is.  Are there tender areas that are new?  Any bumps?  Anything seem unusual?  If so, schedule an appointment to investigate it further.
  6. I promise to give my pet a good brushing at least once a week.
    Most pets love to get a good brushing or combing.  I say once a week is good, but even a few times a month works.  Some pets are sensitive at first but will soon grow to like the  experience and will look forward to it as a treat from you.
  7. I promise to take a photo of my pet doing average and/or cute things either alone or with me in the picture, monthly.
    Our pets don’t live as long as we do unfortunately, so taking regular pictures of their time with us is a good way to keep a journal of your lives together.  Make sure you regularly save the photos to a folder or print them so they are not lost if your camera or phone has a problem.
  8. I promise to have a pet first aid kit ready in the event there is an emergency.
    Most people have a human emergency first aid kit to handle unforeseen emergencies but don’t have one set up for their pets.  We have a good suggestion for one on our website, and if you don’t yet have one of these, you can use our suggestions as a place to start.
  9. I resolve to keep an ID tag on my pet in the event he/she is ever lost.
    Keep a collar and tag on your pets, even if they are microchipped.  These days it is a good idea to use your mobile number rather than your home phone as the number on the tag because most people have their phones with them at all times, so should your pet get found by someone, you’ll know about it faster.
  10. I resolve to prepare 2 pet emergency information cards, one to keep in the emergency kit and one to have available for easy access or to give to a sitter that includes quick access to vital information.  (vet number, 24/7 emergency #, your cell phone number, poison control #, medications, pet license #, someone else to call in an emergency if you are not available).

There you go, our 2014 pet resolutions.  Have you made any others?  We’d love to hear them!  Just leave them in the comment section below.

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Here are my Reasons to be Thankful, what are yours?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Anyone who has ever shared their life with a pet understands how special their unconditional love is. Pets give us so many reasons to be thankful for them that it takes no real effort for any pet owner I speak to to list at least a dozen reasons they are thankful for their pets. reasons-to-be-thankful

For me, the constancy of love and devotion that I receive day in and day out from our office cats always brings a smile to my face.  I count on the morning routine just as much as they do when I arrive to feed them, and if I am traveling or if someone else takes over my morning feeding duties, all of us miss “the way things are supposed to be”. Have you noticed that the daily routine is part of what creates the relationship with your pets? It is very important that you remember to get it right, and for that I am thankful, since my hectic life is often far from routine.

I am thankful as well that I am able to notice and realize that our pets assumed their own “Take care of my owner” attitude when they joined us, and I acknowledge them each time they wear their hats in doing this.  Getting us up out of our desk chairs is one way they do it – (sitting in front of computers too long without a break is a notorious health wrecker).  As you can imagine, getting us up can be challenging for a cat, but smart kitties that they are, they have a list of tactics that they utilize to achieve their results – and my favorite is ‘mad dash kitty’ where our tuxedo races madly through the office until we get up to chase her.  Honestly I am healthier as a result of mad dashing after the cat.

As you can see, I have a list of more than a dozen reasons to be thankful, and if I took time to think of them, the list would run into the hundreds.

Which begs my question to you…what are yours?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and keep front of mind during this special day all of those things you are thankful for.

Adam

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The Traveling Cat (part 2)

Monday, September 17th, 2012

To the world you are just one more rescue person.
To a rescued pet, you are the world.

“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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The Traveling Cat (part 1)

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I want a break from life to go hike to Argentina with a kitty on my back! The apparatus on my shoulder is a camera mounted in a way to document our travels.

Kitty is a very adventurous cat. She is the beloved pet of American travelers, Peter and Marcia Simmons, who are hiking from Miami , Florida to Ushuaia in Argentina . They are currently in Colombia . Kitty is often seen resting in Peters backpack as they travel. They have set up a little umbrella on the backpack to shade Kitty from the sun.

Kitty is enjoying the trip as much as her owners. She often climbs on Peters shoulder to get a better view of the new scenery. She is not at all shy about meeting new people. If there was an award for the most adventurous cat, Kitty would be the purr-fect candidate.

Click here for “Traveling Cat (part 2)”

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