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How to Create an Emergency Plan for Your Pet

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Pets are an essential part of every household. Guaranteeing their safety during disastrous situations is the owner’s responsibility. To help you do that, we are listing 4 steps to follow when creating an emergency plan for pets.

An Emergency Survival Kit

In a disastrous situation like hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes, an emergency kit should be your priority. It should contain:

  • At least three days’ worth of food and water.
  • Compiled medical records and essential medicines.
  • Basic first aid essentials like bandages, disinfectants, gloves, scissors, ointments, saline solution, flea, tick prevention medications, etc.
  • We suggest you opt for microchipping your pet to keep track of their whereabouts. Otherwise, you can always put an ID label or tracking collar.
  • Keep items for sanitation, including a litter box, newspapers, trash bags, paper towels, etc.
  • A picture of your pet and you in case you two get separated.
  • Some of your pet’s favorite toys to help reduce stress during disasters.

Draft a Getaway Plan

You must do your research before you abandon your house during emergencies. Conduct your research and identify safe zones to head for if need be. Identify friends or family members who may be willing to take care of your pet or look for boarding facilities or hotels that can help you out.

Buddy Rescue System

Disasters often come unannounced and unexpectedly. Make sure you talk to neighbors or friends who can evacuate your pet in case you are unavailable.

Contact your Vet

Discuss your pet’s conditions with your vet before drafting the plan. Ask them or any specific medications that you need to carry during emergencies. They will also provide you with contact details of emergency treatment centers for your pets. Make sure you keep that list safe and readily available during an emergency.

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Is Your Dog Losing Its Hearing?

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Hearing loss in dogs can be hereditary, due to trauma, the result of congenital disability, or an infection. It is especially common for dogs to lose their hearing as they age, similar to humans.

Some breeds of dogs have what is called ‘congenital deafness.’ This refers to a loss of hearing triggered by certain genes. This sort of loss of hearing tends to be permanent and cannot be treated.

Here are the main signs that your dog is losing its hearing.

1.   Disobedience

It’s pretty common for people to mistake a loss of hearing in their pet for a behavioral problem such as disobedience.

This is especially true if your dog has thus far been very well behaved. A well-behaved dog that suddenly stops responding to its owner’s instructions and commands can easily be pegged as being disobedient.

Generally speaking, this sort of loss of hearing affects senior dogs. Before getting angry at your dog for misbehaving, make sure to conduct certain tests at home to check whether your dog is being disobedient by not listening to you, or whether he simply cannot hear you.

If you realize that your dog is having problems understanding your voice, you can always use hand signals and other visual cues to communicate with your pet.

2.   Loud and Frequent Barking

When a human has a hearing problem, they often start turning the volume of the TV up or start speaking louder than they usually do. In the same way, a dog suffering from hearing loss is likely to bark very loudly and all the time. This is because, without proper hearing, the dog doesn’t realize just how loud it is being. So, if your dog has suddenly started barking very loudly, this may be a sign that it’s starting to lose its hearing.

3.   Excessive Sleep

Generally speaking, a dog that is still adjusting from its newly discovered loss of hearing will try to compensate for this loss by sleeping frequently. Although you may initially assume your dog is only sad, the truth is, it is undergoing changes that it does not know how to cope with.

These were some of the major signs that your dog is losing its hearing. If your pet is displaying any of these signs, it’s best to get him checked by a vet at the earliest.

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How to Help Your Pet Beat the Summer Heat

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Summers can be pretty harsh because the heat is relentless. No matter where you live, in the mountains or by the sea, when it’s summer, it’s hot, and our pets feel the heat just as much as we do. Well, to beat the heat, you can keep your pet in the house all day, but that’s no fun. Instead, you can use one of these tips to help your pet beat the heat.

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Get a Kiddy Pool

There’s nothing more refreshing in the summer heat than a nice long dip in the pool. It instantly brings down your pet’s body temperatures, relaxes them, and uplifts their spirits. Plus, they can get some exercise while they splash around in the water.

Treat Them with Frozen Treats

A Popsicle is like the ultimate treat on a hot sunny day for both humans and pets. As long as you’re sure that your frozen treat of choice does not contain ingredients that might be harmful to pets, you can give them to your dog as a way to beat the heat.

Cooling Pads

Another simple way to give your pet a break is to get a cooling pad. They can frolic about and be as energetic and playful as they like and then simply cool off with the help of the pad.

Keep them Groomed

Do not let their coat get too long during summers. Make sure you regularly brush their hair and take them for trims. A professional grooming service can help you determine what length is ideal to keep your dog fresh during summers.

Keep them Hydrated

Keeping them well hydrated is key to avoiding a heat stroke. Make sure you watch out for telltale signs of dehydration. If your pet’s nose and tongue seem dry to the touch, they need water. A well-hydrated pet is a lot more active and feels refreshed for longer.

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The Proper Way to Travel with Your Dog

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Taking your dog along with you on your travels can make your vacation so much more enjoyable for both you as well as your pup. You do, however, have to make sure that your pup is comfortable at each step of your travels.

If you’re not sure about how to take your pup along with you on vacation, here is a guide on the proper way to travel with your dog.

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  • Step 1– Get Your Pup Checked

    Make sure to take your pup for an extensive body checkup to the vet well in advance of your trip. You will have to be extra careful to make sure that your pup has gotten all the required vaccinations and that he meets the airline regulation requirements for pet travel.

    You should also ensure that your pup is perfectly healthy before he travels. Take care of his diet, and make sure that he gets all the nutrients he needs.

    Do not forget to carry bottled water with you on the trip and also any medications your pup might need. Most importantly, though, be prepared for any emergency that may arise.

    Before you board the plane, your vet’s number should be a contact in your phone, in case you need to contact him on an emergency basis. There is nothing wrong with taking the necessary precautions. Remember, it’s always better to be extra careful rather than regret something later on only because you weren’t careful in the preparation stage.

    Step 2 – Purchase a Dog Crate

    A dog crate is a perfect way to make sure your pup remains safe and protected if you’re traveling somewhere by car, and it is, in fact, a requirement if you are traveling by airline.

    Crates are extremely handy. Not only do they keep your dog safe, but they also make sure that your dog doesn’t get into any mischief during your travels. You can easily find the right crate at any pet supply store. Just make sure to purchase one that is appropriate for your dog based on its size, breed, age, etc.

    Remember that any crate that you purchase needs to be spacious enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and even lie down. Also, keep in mind that your crate needs to have strong handles so that you can lift it and carry it easily without any difficulty. The bottom of the crate should be made from absorbent, leak-proof material, in case of any accidents.

    Additionally, check to see that the crate that you buy has sufficient ventilation from both sides so that your dog has no trouble breathing wherever you go. You can even make the crate more comfortable by lining it with your dog’s favorite blanket, chew toys, and a bottle of water.

    If you want your precious pup to accompany you on your vacation, you need to know the proper way to travel with your dog. These two tips will ensure that your dog is safe on your journey.

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Dog Anxiety: Understanding and Controlling It

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Dogs are sensitive creatures and can often fall victim to anxiety, depression, and loneliness. However, with the right amount of love, attention, and care, you can give your dog the happy, content life that he deserves.

Dog anxiety can afflict all breeds and dogs of all ages. While occasional feelings of anxiety triggered by a certain event are understandable and nothing out of the ordinary, the persistence of the feeling can drastically affect your dog’s well-being. You, as your dog’s parent, need to take action so that your dog can live a happy and fulfilled life.

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  • Before you can begin to help your dog get through this phase, you need to be able to understand it first. Here’s everything you need to know about dog anxiety and how to get it under control.

    Causes of Anxiety in Dogs

    Three main causes are known to be a source of anxiety in dogs

    Fear: fear-related anxiety can be triggered by loud noises like fireworks, car horns, and/or loud sounds by other animals. It can also be brought on when faced with strange, unfamiliar visual stimuli, or being introduced to new surroundings.

    Separation: About 14% of all dogs suffer through this. Separation anxiety makes the dog unable to stay alone without company, even if for a few hours. It’ll need a constant company for comfort. This is often the case with abandoned dogs.

    Age: Senior dogs often suffer through age-related anxiety because of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). This brings on Alzheimer-like conditions, causing confusion and anxiety in dogs.

    Symptoms of Dog Anxiety

    Watch out for these symptoms as these can indicate that your dog is getting anxious. If you can spot the tell-tale signs, you can be there for him and help him calm down.

    • Aggression
    • Incessant barking
    • Soiling inside the house
    • Drooling
    • Panting
    • Restlessness
    • Destructive Behaviour

    Keeping Dog Anxiety Under Control

    If you suspect your dog might be suffering from anxiety, you should consult your vet. The vet can help you pinpoint the type and severity of the anxiety and draw up a treatment plan to help curb and control it. There are two possible treatment routes to take:

    Training: Dogs can be trained to become desensitized to the stimuli that are causing them anxiety. This is done by introducing the dog to the stimuli and then rewarding them for facing it. This is an effective way but takes time and patience. Counterconditioning is also an option where the dog is trained to change his response to the stimulus.

    Medication: If the anxiety is severe, your vet might prescribe some anxiety medication for your dog to keep it under control. New studies have shown that CBD oil is also very effective at soothing dog anxiety.

    There is nothing more important to a dog parent than their dog’s happiness and well-being, so keep on the lookout for signs of dog anxiety. If you think your dog is exhibiting symptoms of dog anxiety, talk to your vet.

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How to Tell If Your Pet Has Allergies

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Allergies can be quite a nuisance for humans. The runny noses, itchy eyes, and discomfort get too much to deal with sometimes. Just like humans, animals get allergies, too, and they need medical attention as well. The question here is, how can you tell if your pet has an allergy?

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  • Biting and Scratching

The most common sign that indicates the pet is suffering from an allergy is that it scratches and bites itself like crazy to relieve the itchiness that it feels. Along with this, their skin also gets flushed and inflamed. These allergies could be due to pollen grains or any plants. Bathing your pet using mild shampoo can provide temporary relief. However, a visit to the vet is mandatory.

  • Excess Shedding

Pets can get dandruff as a consequence of certain allergies that cause excessive hair loss and shedding. Dandruff dries out the animal’s skin, as a result of which it feels itchy. When your pet scratches its itchy, flaky skin, not only does it lose its hair, but it also sheds dry skin.

  • Inflamed Skin

Just like runny noses and itchy eyes are common symptoms of allergies in humans, skin infections are common in animals. The skin of animals becomes inflamed and even infected as a result of excessive scratching. If you observe reddened, inflamed, or infected skin, you need to take your pet to the vet so that it can be given the right medicines.

  • Paw Licking

Paw licking is a common habit in cats and dogs, but excessive paw licking can be an indication of pet allergies.

  • Licking of the Anal Region

This behavior is more common in dogs, but it indicates that your pet is having an allergic reaction to something. If the dog is scooting towards its rear and is licking its anal region, it is probably because it is feeling itchy. When you notice this behavior, you should take it to the vet immediately.

  • Respiratory Issues

Allergy-related respiratory issues are common in cats. Cats often suffer from allergic bronchitis due to pollen grains or poor air quality.

Keeping a check for the signs and symptoms listed above will help you figure out whether your pet is suffering from any pet allergies. You will then be able to take them to the vet and get them treated on time.

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Heartworm Awareness Month – What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know About Heartworm

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Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal disease in animals, especially dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by Dirofilaria immitis, a parasitic worm. This disease can cause damage to vital organs like the heart and lungs, which, in many cases, leads to death. To make pet owners aware of this serious disease, Heartworm Awareness Month is celebrated in April every year. It’s a month where pet owners are taught all they need to know about this deadly disease.

Dogs are definitive hosts, which means that the heartworm thrives best in dogs. Naturally, you cannot protect your dog from getting the disease unless you’re well-informed on prevention methods. To make things easier for you, we have listed down a few things about heartworm that every pet owner should know.

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  • How Do Animals Get Heartworm?

Animals get heartworm through mosquito bites. Small larvae of heartworm are present in the blood of mosquitoes, which are transferred to animals when the mosquito bites them. You cannot tell if the mosquito is infected, and there is no other way for this disease to make its way to your pet.

  • Which Hosts Do Heartworms Prefer?

Dogs are the natural hosts for this parasitic worm. They mature, live, and reproduce in the dog’s body. Cats are atypical hosts, and cats that get heartworm do not survive for long enough for the heartworms to mature. Cats with adult heartworms are found to host only a few (2 to 3) adult worms.

  • What Damage Do Heartworms Cause?

Heartworms are capable of causing lasting damage to the vital organs. They affect the lungs, heart, and arteries. The damage is so severe that it lasts for a lifetime, even if the heartworms are gotten rid of.

  • How Is Heartworm Disease Diagnosed?

Heartworms in the blood can be detected easily by a simple blood test. However, it may take up to 6 to 7 months for them to appear in the blood. As such, a good preventive measure is to get your pet’s blood tested every 6 months.

  • Symptoms of Heartworm Disease

The symptoms of heartworm disease can help you identify it before the infection gets worse. The symptoms include a persistent cough, fatigue after only moderate physical activity, reluctance to exercise, weight loss, and reduced appetite. Heart failure and a swollen belly are normal when the disease gets worse.

  • How Can Heartworm Disease Be Treated?

Treatment of this disease is very expensive, and it is different for all animals. Dogs are given adulticide to kill adult heartworms. The treatment may also include the use of steroids and histamines. In some cases, the dogs are operated on to remove adult heartworms from the chambers of their hearts.

To keep your dog safe from this deadly disease, the best thing to do is to get a blood test done every 6 months so that the presence of any heartworms can be detected during the early stages.

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Prep the Pup: How to Prepare Your Pet for a Boarding Kennel

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Leaving your furry friend could be hard on both of you. Many dog owners feel terrible about having to leave their dogs while they have to go on an important work trip or a vacation. Thankfully, dog boarding services have made this a bit easier. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that your pup will feel homesick and miss you.

Although good dog boarding facilities make sure your furry friends are provided with a happy, safe, and comfortable stay, your dog might feel scared of the new sights and surroundings. To make it easier for you and your dog, here are 3 ways that can help you prepare your dogs well.

1.   Plan for a Boarding Trial

Don’t surprise your dog with a boarding stay especially if they exhibit separation anxiety. It’s a good idea to plan a boarding trial before your leave. Have your dog spend at least 24 hours in the new environment so that he can get used to the people, routine, and facilities. If you have the time, this will also help you compare different dog boarding schools and resorts.

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1.   Make a Visit to the Vet

Most boarding kennels require your dog to be de-flead and de-wormed before they can take them in. Also, their vaccinations have to be up-to-date. Since vaccinations can take a couple of days to become active, you should plan a visit to the vet beforehand.

2.   Sign for a Pre-Boarding Socialization Training

One of the best parts of sending your dog to a boarding facility is the opportunity to socialize with other animals. However, some pets can show negative behaviors if they’re put in such situations all of a sudden. Thus, a refresher course in socialization training should be considered prior to boarding.

Look for the right boarding kennels, as some of them also offer single-room boarding. This means your pups can choose to a quieter surrounding until they get comfortable with other dogs.

Dog boarding facilities have made it so much easy to leave your dogs without feeling guilty or stressed. If you’re in search of a reliable dog boarding or daycare facility in NC, choose Top Dog Pet Resort. With our certified team of professionals and state-of-the-art facility, your four-legged family members will have the time of their lives!

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American Heart Month – Everything you Need to Know About Your Pet’s Heart Health

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February is not just the month of love. It is also American heart month. Each year, during the second-month, heart health is made a part of the public discourse. Heart defects are one of the leading causes of natural death in humans worldwide. But poor heart health also plagues animals all around the world.

Pets can develop complicated heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy or aortic stenosis, which affect the structure of their hearts. High blood pressure is also a common ailment in cats and dogs. The sooner you find out about any underlying heart problems in your pets, the better you can provide them with the needed care.

When you get a dog or any other pet, everything seems fun and full of excitement. But bringing a pet into your life is not so easy. You need to constantly look after them and make sure that they are in their best form. Unlike humans, your beloved pet cannot tell you if they’re experiencing chest pains or other heart troubles.

American heart month is dedicated to raising awareness regarding the horrors of inferior heart health. It urges people to take preventative measures for better heart health. From an active lifestyle to regular heart screenings, everything comes under the preventative measures for more effective heart care.

There are some critical changes in a pet’s lifestyle that a pet owner can make to make them healthier and happier. According to veterinarians, here is what you can do for your pets in honor of American Heart Month.

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Regular physical activity

Make sure you take your fluffy friend out for a run or walk daily. And at home, play with them as much as you can.

Healthy food

For supreme heart health, you should try and feed your pet low-calorie, protein-rich food. This is especially important if you feel that your pet isn’t active enough, as you need to counteract their lack of exercise with healthier food choices.

Regular visits to the vet

Checkups are a must when it comes to taking care of a pet. You need to take your fluffy buddy to the doc every month and get them vaccinated regularly.

Thorough health care is not only vital for humans, but it is also essential for pets too. When you adopt an animal friend, you must learn to give them the best possible medical care to thrive. Spend this American heart month learning more about how to care for your own heart as well as your little fur baby’s heart.

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The Right Dog For The Right Person

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Just like people, not all dogs are alike. The various breeds have different personalities, needs, energy levels, and desires. Alongside breed, age, and past experiences also mold a dog’s personality. When you think about bringing a puppy home, you are looking for a lifetime of companionship, so wouldn’t the journey be much more fulfilling and satisfying if you choose a dog with compatibility in mind?

There is no ‘best dog’ out there; there is only the right dog for you. Some things to consider before choosing to bring a dog home are:

Objective

Perhaps, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is, “Why am I getting a dog?” For most people, the reason is either one of the two: company or security. If security is your major concern, then a larger, guard dog might be best for you; otherwise, a smaller dog or a non-sporting dog might be ideal.

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Breed

Think long and hard about what kind of dog would be best for you, and choose a breed that would adapt well and keep up with your lifestyle. If you are a young, fit person, who often likes to go hiking and running, sporting dogs or hounds can be great companions for you. For an elderly couple, a low-energy breed like a bulldog or a pug might be the perfect fit. The breed defines the dog’s activity levels and personalities, so get a breed that will complement yours.

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Age

The age of the dog must be taken into account when you are looking to adopt. Some younger puppies and some large adult dogs are very energetic and need lots of exercises. So if your lifestyle does not allow you to take them out too often, opt for an older dog. If you have little kids in the house, a smaller, naughtier golden retriever or a Labrador will fare well too, as he will always have someone to play with.

There are several other factors that you need to take into account before you make the big decision of bringing a dog home, so do your research before welcoming the bundle of joy into your life.

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