All Creatures Are Great - Big or Small!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:30 by Dr. Jane

Big dog and a little dog

One of the most amazing things about canines is the astounding range of sizes and shapes they come in. From Saint Bernards to Chihuahuas - and everything in between – there’s a dizzying array of physical variations. This explosion of varieties has happened extraordinarily quickly in terms of evolutionary timescales due to relentless selective breeding by humans and, as a result of our genetic meddling, the dog is now the physically most diverse land animal on the planet.

With the multitude of shapes and sizes in the canine kingdom, you may be surprised to note that only six or seven locations in a dog’s genetic code can explain about 80% of the differences in height and weight among dog breeds. In comparison, in studies on humans, like those conducted by Carlos Bustamente, professor of genetics at Stanford, differences in height and weight in humans are controlled by hundreds if not thousands of genetic variations. More...

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Foundation Award to Animal Friends Humane Society

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:28 by Life's Abundance

AFHS Pups

On behalf of the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, it is our privilege to announce the gift of yet another financial award. This month’s featured group is Animal Friends Humane Society, a non-profit based in Boerne, TX. Saving canine lives since 2000, this impressive little group was established with the goal of serving a small part of the greater San Antonio area where over 50,000 dogs and cats are euthanized annually. During the last 12 years, they’ve continued to grow and foster their own place in the community. More...

Cats Behaving Badly - Part 2

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 16:35 by Dr. Jane
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Hissing Cat

According to pet parents, one of the more common cat behavioral problems is aggression between cats in a multi-cat household. The source of the explosive behavior could be due to any of several reasons, including incompatible personalities, territorial competition or overcrowding. Cats normally establish a hierarchy among themselves, but the tricky thing is it can be fairly unpredictable and can change suddenly: cats that have gotten along for a long time may experience an abrupt falling out, leaving pet parents mystified. More...

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Tips & Tricks for Brushing

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 16:34 by Dr. Sarah

Think back to when you chose which dog to share your life with … did grooming requirements weigh heavily on your decision-making? Chances are, probably not. It’s important that you have some understanding of your dog’s grooming needs from the get-go. You don’t want to wait until she’s uncomfortable or you are frustrated before acting. Some pet parents postpone grooming duties until the coat builds up foul odors, or when shedding is so prevalent that dog-hair tumbleweeds are rolling across the floor. But, with the helpful information provided in this short video, that’s all about to change. With assistance from her beautiful, blond assistant, Alma, Dr. Sarah offers a concise review of the basics of home grooming.

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Foundation Award to Stickney's Toy Breed Rescue

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 16:32 by Life's Abundance
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Family Gathering
Family Gathering in the Kitchen.

It is our great honor to relay news of yet another financial award granted by Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation. In a recent round of funding, we subsidized the vital enterprises of a non-profit organization whose mission is to salvage the lives of dogs damaged by human greed.

Located in Cortland, Nebraska, Stickney's Toy Breed and Rescue and Retirement Sanctuary specializes in small breeds, dogs who generally weigh less than 25 pounds. Nine out of ten of the dogs received into their care come directly from puppy mills, not just locally but from other states, too. More...

Debunking Myths and Misconceptions about Dogs

Friday, 24 August 2012 15:50 by Dr. Jane
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Dog Magnify Glass

Remember the old party game “telephone” where a message is passed secretly through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group? If you’ve played the game, you’re well aware that the initial message gets drastically altered as it’s passed on from one person to the next. The same thing can happen with any information – including “facts” about pets. As a caring pet parent, it’s important to stay “in the know” regarding the furry companions who reside under your roof. The internet provides a wealth of resources at your fingertips, however, you are not only exposed to helpful tips and advice on how to best care for your companion animals, you’ll also see some misinformation. So let’s take a look at five of the most commonly shared myths about pets and discover why you can’t always trust everything you read when it comes to your four-legged friends. More...

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Foundation Award to Save a Kitty

Friday, 24 August 2012 15:46 by Life's Abundance

Ranch Kitties

It gives us immense pleasure to announce one of the latest financial awards given by the Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation, this time to Save A Kitty, a donor-supported, non-profit, no-kill, cage-free cat rescue in Los Angeles County, CA.

An all-volunteer organization, Save A Kitty is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless, abandoned and abused cats while simultaneously working to help prevent more unwanted births in Southern California. Officially incorporated as a non-profit in 2008, they have been actively involved in the rescue business for much longer. More...

Feline Feeding Behavior & Why it Matters

Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:53 by Dr. Jane

Kitty at the table

Cats are enigmatic creatures. Having an appreciation for their motivations will not only help you to develop a deeper bond, it could make your cat healthier, too.

Feeding your feline optimal nutrition not only requires an understanding of your cat’s unique nutritional needs, but also of their feeding behavior. In fact, understanding the nuances of feline consumption can help combat one of the most common feeding disorders in cats - obesity. More...

Foundation Extinguishes Needs of Fire Victims

Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:51 by Life's Abundance
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Waldo Canyon Fire

The U.S. is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history. More than 1,000 counties, in states stretching from Florida to Oregon and even including Hawaii, have declared states of disaster. The drought has impacted farmlands, water reserves and has created conditions which are conducive to disaster, including wildfires like those which raged uncontrollably in Colorado in June and July. Even though the fires are now relatively under control or extinguished outright, a state of fear reigned just a few short weeks ago.

Near Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon Fire was a disaster of massive proportions, consuming several thousand acres of woodlands and driving residents and companion animals from their homes. Adding to the heartbreak, many dogs and cats were separated from their pet parents in the fiery maelstrom.

In times of great need, however, heroes arise to help save the day. That’s why it brings us such immense pleasure to relay the story of All Breed Rescue & Training, an animal rescue organization that took extraordinary measures to care for pets displaced by the Waldo Canyon Fire. More...

Camping with your Canine Companion

Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:49 by Dr. Sarah

Are you looking for an affordable alternative for summer vacation? Do you yearn to explore the Great Outdoors? Are you tired of leaving your dog behind when you leave town? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then this episode of Pet Talk was made just for you! In this special summertime message, our intrepid, happy-go-lucky staff veterinarian Dr. Sarah applies her ready-for-anything attitude to a great American pastime with a twist … canine camping. Aided by Alma, her fun-loving, Goldendoodle co-star, our pet expert is on location in the Colorado woodlands, sharing her insights and practical tips to help prepare you for your next nature-land adventure.

As an added bonus to our readers, we’re including a full explanation of what you’ll need to pack to mount your next expedition into the wilds. And be sure to download the handy checklist version to take the last-minute guesswork out of what you’ll need to pack.

From here on out, camping won’t be complete without your canine companion. So, shake the moths out of your tent, dust off your backpack and buy a pack of strike-anywhere matches. Don’t forget to share your camping stories with other Life’s Abundance customers in the comments section below!

Packing List for Camping with your Canine Companion

Identification tags: If your pup is out of the house, she should wear her ID tags (license, vaccination & home address) labeled with your name, city, state and phone number. For your camping trip, consider purchasing an inexpensive, temporary tag for her to wear along with the standard tags. Some stores have engraving kiosks - simply enter the relevant info (such as your dog’s name, the name of the park where you’ll be camping and your assigned campsite number). If your park of choice doesn’t assign numbers ahead of time, or if you’re camping on a wilderness trail, include the phone number of the nearest ranger station. If there’s space enough, include pertinent information about medical conditions (such as ‘Diabetic’) or behavioral issues (like, ‘Cat Aggressive’).

Leash: In addition to your standard leash and collar (make sure they’re in good condition while you’re at it), consider bringing back-ups. It’s a good idea to have one short lead, especially if your destination is heavily wooded - you don’t want Max’s retractable lead wound around a couple of trees when he’s in an excited state.

Tether or Crate: You need to have a way to safely restrain your dog while you are setting up camp, cooking, etc. - just ask anyone who’s ever tried to pitch a tent while holding a leash - not pretty. If your dog routinely sleeps in a crate, and you’re driving to your campsite, bring it along. Obviously, it’s not something you want to carry on your back if you’re hiking to your site. However, a crate is a safe place she can return to while you’re busy prepping or cleaning up your camp site.

Bedding: Bring an all-weather tarp to place under the bedding to shield you and your pup from the ground, especially for camping in cold weather. Laying on the ground risks exposure, as body heat is quickly absorbed into the earth, and we don’t want you or your dog experiencing hypothermia.

Cold Protection: To further protect your pup, especially if she has a short or thin coat, pack a doggie sweater for her to wear. Again, there’s no reason to risk hypothermia.

Booties: Depending on the terrain, presence of ice on the ground, prevalence of fire ants or if your dog has weak footpads (i.e., predisposed to tearing, not uncommon in older dogs), booties are a good solution for paw protection. Don’t forget to do some trial runs with the booties before you leave … wearing shoes for the first time takes some getting used to.

Food and Water: Don’t wing it when it comes to having enough food and water. Do not simply trust the safety of streams, rivers and lakes as a source of hydration, for you or your dog. It’s rare these days to locate natural water that isn’t tainted by giardia, toxic chemicals or other harmful bacteria. If you insist on using water from a natural source, bring giardia tablets (follow the label instructions) and a tiny bottle of bleach (you only need a couple of drops per gallon) to purify the water. When it comes to food, pack two extra days of dog food beyond your planned stay. Preserve the food in a sturdy water-proof container. If your campsite features a “bear box” (a storage container high off the ground, often on a pole), please use it - it’s there for a reason. If you don’t have travel bowls, pack your pup’s regular ones – even these can evoke a measure of comfort in an unfamiliar environment.

Toys: Even though the Great Outdoors may captivate your attention, boredom’s a distinct possibility after your dog has marked his or her territory and sniffed around the camp site a couple of times. If your dog is fearful under the stars, a favorite toy from home might provide a measure of comfort.

First Aid Kit Items: Chances are, you already plan to take some first-aid items … by adding a couple of more products, you’ll be well prepared to handle many canine emergencies, too.
Take the following items and keep them safely stored in clear storage bags … that way, you won’t waste precious time in an emergency situation digging through your backpack.

Bandages: Vetwrap (self-stick gauze), butterfly bandages (used to close open wounds), waterproof surgical tape, duct tape, 4” X 4” gauze pads and non-stick sterile pads
Styptic Powder, to stop bleeding (Kwik Stop is a good brand)
Small Scissors
Tweezers
Hemostats or needle-nose pliers
Small razor (to shave hair from injured area)
Irrigation syringe (to flush eyes and wounds)
Ear and eye ointment (ask your vet or vet tech for which brands for common conditions)
Triple antibiotic ointment with lidocaine (that last part will help with stinging, painful wounds - check with your vet)
Medication for insect stings in both a topical spray and oral capsules (again, talk with your vet about brand choice and dosages)
Hydrogen peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
Towel
Muzzle (if your dog is in pain, you need to take steps to prevent him from biting you or others while addressing the emergency)

If you are planning a camping trip in a remote location, it would be wise to consider enrolling in a back-country EMT course, which should be available through your local community college.

It sounds like a lot of work, but if you’re adequately prepared, you’re more likely to have a blast. Enjoy your trip!

(Please note: Always consult your veterinarian on your first aid kit regarding items, brand choices, dosages and guidance on their uses.)

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