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Useful Tips for Winter Puppy Care

The holidays are fast approaching and, amid the hustle and bustle, many people choose to adopt a new puppy into their homes during the holiday season. If you are the proud pet parent of a brand new puppy, here are some great tips on how to best take care of your new bundle of joy during the cold-weather months.

Most puppies do fine in cold weather - many of the long haired large breeds love to chase snowflakes and romp through winter landscapes. If you are considering adopting a short haired breed or small puppy, never leave them outside unattended. Although it is important to watch them vigilantly to make sure they stay warm, most dogs can still enjoy short stints outside. Remember, puppies need a lot of attention and care, and for potty training purposes, they need to be able to relieve themselves every few hours. You can start potty training your puppy as young as eight weeks of age, and it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you have opened your home to a puppy this winter and are wondering about how best to care for your new family member, then watch this video. In it, Dr. Sarah talks about special considerations for puppies during the cold months and tips and tricks on how to beat old man winter.

Giving Makes the World a Better Place

Dr Jane Bicks A time of togetherness and giving, the holiday season is upon us. Many of us will be devoting a great deal of time preparing for and spending time with family and friends. And while we may be busy scurrying about, carrying out holiday plans, the holidays are also a time when some reflect upon their lives and consider the consequences of their actions for the benefit of others.

And I’m so grateful to have a role in a company that does so much to promote the welfare and health of companion animals. As I’m fond of saying, we’re a small company with a great heart. Helping companion animals to lead healthier, longer and happier lives is not just an important company commitment … it’s our personal mission.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak directly to you in posts like this, to share my thoughts and insights in the hopes that they will benefit you in some way. In this post, I’d like to reveal the latest news from the work of the foundation that bears my name.

As you probably know, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support to a variety of animal rescue groups, all of which are dedicated to helping to save neglected, abused and unwanted animals. Today in America, there are literally thousands of rescue organizations working to make a brighter future for these helpless creatures. We provide funding to deserving organizations that meet very specific qualifications, such as demonstrating a high level of cleanliness, maintaining a caring environment, providing full veterinary care, and facilitating adoptions of their rescues.

In the past few months, we’ve awarded thousands of dollars to numerous worthy rescue groups, including... More...

Four Steps to Younger Looking Skin

Revitalizing Clay Skin. It has been with you since before you were born. The largest organ of your body, your skin stretches as you grow and shrinks when you diet. But, most importantly – ages while you age! Here are four simple steps that you can take to keep your skin looking younger and feeling healthier:

Sun Protection – As we age, our skin is exposed to countless hours of sun. Constant, unprotected exposure can eventually result in what we commonly refer to as age spots. Ranging in all different sizes and shapes, these spots can appear on any area that has been exposed to the sun’s rays – your hands, arms, legs and, unfortunately, even your face. In order to decrease the risk of the appearance of these spots, you must protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. These rays come in two different wavelengths, UVA and UVB. UVB rays, while shorter than UVA, make our skin burn when overexposed. UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the skin’s layers, damage our collagen fibers … creating those dreaded wrinkles and leathery-looking skin. The best form of protection (besides staying indoors during daylight hours) is to use a broad-spectrum sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Moisturize - Not only do moisturizers make your skin feel soft and smooth, they also act as a “security blanket” for your skin. By using a moisturizer, you are giving your skin a temporary layer of protection that substitutes for lost collagen and elastin. Blanketing your skin with moisture helps to slow the progression and deepening of wrinkles. When looking for a moisturizer, be sure to take your skin type into consideration. Typically, moisturizers are made from two types of bases, oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions. Water-in-oil-based moisturizers tend to be thicker and greasier and ideal for hands or extreme dry skin. On the contrary, oil-in-water-based moisturizers are lighter and a much better choice for normal-to-oily skin. Be sure to check the label when choosing a moisturizer and select one that best matches your skin type and needs. More...

Welcome Home, New Pet! Now What?

Dr Jane Bicks
With the holidays just around the corner, many people will consider adding a new pet to their home. According to recent statistics, more and more Americans are adopting not only their first companion animal, but their second and even third. The pervasiveness of multiple pet households indicates just how important pets have become in our lives, and that we want our existing pets to have companions of their own.

Having multiple pets increases everything: the joy, the cost, the hair, and the cuddles. As a veterinarian, I am often asked for advice on how best to integrate a new pet into a home that already has resident animals. In this post, I’ll be focusing on dog-only and cat-only households.

In a Dog-Meet-Dog World

When seeking to add an additional dog to your family, be sure to choose a breed, gender and personality that compliment your current canine. For example, it’s unwise to match a tea cup poodle puppy with a large or giant breed dog, especially an active one. Even if no harm is intended, the puppy could easily be injured. Similarly, be conscientious if you already have an older dog with arthritis, as a puppy could prove overwhelming. In general, opposite genders get along better, as do spayed and neutered pets (procedures I heartily endorse). In general, we would recommend the adoption of a dog younger than the resident dog; if the ages are reversed, tension could result, leading to recurring fights over who claims dominance. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, personality is an important factor. You know your resident dog’s disposition and it’s essential to take that into consideration when bringing a new dog into your home. More...

Tips for Better Skin Health

While underappreciated or even unrecognized as an organ, skin has amazing properties. For starters, it’s the largest organ of the body. Both tough and pliable, skin has many functions, including regulating body temperature, helping to prevent dehydration and protecting against injury and disease. Without skin, our pets couldn’t have hair, and everything that was on the inside would be exposed, making snuggle sessions a little on the icky side!

Canine and feline skin shares many similarities with human skin, but there are significant differences. They do have three layers of their skin, with the same nerves and blood vessels running throughout. Even though the pigmented skin in dogs contains melanin, dogs do not have the ability to tan like humans do. Also, they have apocrine glands (similar to human sweat glands), however, dogs do not sweat like we do. Instead, dogs have eccrine glands in their paws, which secrete a watery substance like sweat, although this typically only occurs when they are nervous and under stress. Now you know how it is that they can sometimes leave little damp paw prints when exiting the veterinary office!

As the body’s first line of defense to environmental factors, the skin is subjected to all sorts of insults and injuries. Critters of all stripes, from fleas to ticks to parasites (like mange mites) bite and damage the skin. Additionally, skin is under repeated assault by foreign objects, nibbling teeth, scratching claws and constant licking, all of which can weaken and impair the skin’s protective barrier. Skin can also be affected from the inside out by infections, hormonal imbalances, allergies and immune disorders.

Young pets are particularly suspectible to skin problems because their skin is more sensitive and their immune systems are not fully developed. Kittens, for example, are prone to ringworm (fungal) infections and puppies are predisposed to demodectic mange. If your puppy or kitten develops a rash, loses hair, or has bumps or warts, consult with your veterinarian to determine if treatment is necessary.

The bottom line is, healthy skin is a vital part of pet health, and its condition is a reflection of a pet’s overall well-being. Vulnerable to attacks on all sides, it’s very important that pet parents regularly monitor their pet’s skin health. Skin normally does its job well as the body’s protector, but sometimes even skin needs an extra boost. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reviews some common causes of skin and coat problems in dogs and cats, and reveals some safe and natural home remedies that promote overall skin health.

Foundation Delivers Truckload of Aid to Animal Shelter

Dr Jane FoundationWhen one of Florida’s newest animal rescue organizations took in sixteen abused dogs from out-of-state, they found themselves in dire and immediate need of supplies. Fortunately, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation was ready and willing to lend a helping hand.

Subjected to physical and mental abuse in a North Carolina product-testing laboratory, the dogs came to Palm Beach County after an undercover investigation publicized their plight. The laboratory closed, turning over all of the nearly 200 animals used in experiments to various East Coast humane agencies, including Wellington’s In Dog We Trust (IDWT). Founded by Nicole Brown, IDWT is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter that opened just this summer on the 20-acre property of what used to be the Folke Peterson Wildlife Center, a wildlife sanctuary shuttered in 2009.

Once known only by the codes tattooed on their bodies, sixteen Beagles now call IDWT their temporary home and are now christened with proper names. It may be weeks before the dogs are made available for adoption, as they begin to recover from their traumas, learn basic skills and become accustomed to human companionship. Their caretakers estimate that most of the Beagles are only two years old. More...

They Depend on You to Stay Healthy ... Are You?

The cat’s bowl is full of nutritious Instinctive Choice. Your canine companion has had his daily Wellness Food Supplement. You know that you are forgetting something, but you just can’t seem to place it. Maybe it’s not something you’re forgetting but rather someone! As important of a role your pets play in your life, you are the main character in their lives! Without you who would they turn to?

By changing a few simple things in your daily routine, you could be around for more belly scratches and rub downs!

Get Active – Don’t just let Fido out by himself – join him. A recent survey found that more than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. Since the health problems associated with excess weight include heart disease, diabetes and stroke, it's important to make weight loss and fitness a priority in your life. So lace up those sneakers and take your dog for a daily walk at the local park or around your block! The fresh air will invigorate you and the companionship of your dog will make this daily activity more enjoyable and seem less like exercise. Not only will this help keep your weight under control, but it will also help make for a healthier heart.

Eat Healthy – You feed your pets the best, most nutritious foods, and you should be doing the same. Hate the word “diet”? Try the 80-20 factor. Eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge for the other 20%. This is a very simple way to improve your diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. An easy way to ensure that you are getting health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis is to try Sealogix Omega-3 Fish Oil. Thanks in large part to its superior quality, purity and concentration of nutrients, Sealogix represents an exceptional value compared to other market brands.

Stop Smoking – Many of us grew up when smoking was cool. Well, it’s not cool anymore. The American Heart Association could not have put it any clearer. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death! Your bad habit does not only affect you - it affects everyone in your home – pets included! There are so many cessation programs available these days that quitting may be easier than you think. Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles, so make the decision to stop smoking today and consult your health care provider for the program that’s right for you.

Let your pets continue to enjoy the life that you have worked so hard to give them. You need to stay healthy, too!

Five Ways to Help End the Pet Abandonment Crisis

Dr Jane Bicks As uncertainty about the economy lingers, the pace of pet abandonment is on the rise. Largely attributable to the collapse of the housing market in 2007, the effects of which continue to ripple through our economy, nearly every state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless animals. During this short time frame, tens of thousands of companion animals have been surrendered to rescue organizations, or worse, simply abandoned, left to fend for themselves.

You’ve probably read some of the heartrending stories: dogs left behind, locked in foreclosed homes; a box of kittens dumped in a community park; and families facing homelessness themselves surrendering to a shelter all of their pets in a moment of heartbreak. The problem is so severe that some shelters have exhausted their resources and are forced to refuse new intakes.

As a society of pet lovers, this represents an unprecedented situation in most of our lifetimes. Now, more than ever, homeless pets need our help.

Many of us want to provide assistance, but don’t know the best way to make a difference. Fortunately, there are five ways to reach out and make a difference to pets in need. More...

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Repeated head shaking. Foul-smelling, waxy build-up. Red, painfully inflamed ears. What do all these things have in common? All are symptoms of otitis externa, or what is commonly referred to as ear infections. If you have ever groaned inwardly and felt dismay the moment your dog starts shaking his head or rubbing his ears along the nearest available surface, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many pet parents are more than familiar with this recurring medical problem. Often, it is accompanied by an offensive odor and one can only imagine how overwhelming the smell is to the suffering pup!

Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. Likely triggers of these maladies are skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites – or food allergies and sensitivities. Be aware that both large ears and swimming predispose dogs to ear infections.

Humans tend to develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, typically in infancy or early youth. As youngsters, our Eustachian tubes are very small. Respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in otitis media (a middle ear infection). Because the infection is internal, they frequently require oral antibiotics. In contrast, pets usually develop ear infections as adults, and the infection is almost always localized in the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of prescription drops or ointments directly into the ear canal usually resolves the illness. If you suspect your companion animal may be suffering from an ear infection, please seek veterinarian assistance for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals the steps to safe and effective ear cleaning to promote overall ear health.

Small Town, Huge Heart

Tabby Town

On the outskirts of Westby, a sparsely populated, rural town in Western Wisconsin, lies one of America’s great treasures … Tabby Town USA, a small animal rescue group that brings solace to the forgotten.

Founded by Marie and Ted Glover in 2003 after adopting an injured cat, Tabby Town now provides shelter and care for up to 80 kittens and cats on any given day. Currently, the majority of their feline community is housed under the Glover’s roof, with two floors, multiple bedrooms, vertical lofts and a lovely sunroom. While most of their cats were abandoned, they’ve also saved kitties that were slated for euthanasia at local shelters. More...