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A Helping Hand for Community Sharing

Boy and Beagle For many American homeowners, the economic recession has dealt a harsh, sustained set of blows. Unemployment rates remain perilously high, and foreclosures continue apace. While most states have experienced their share of miseries, Michigan in particular has borne the brunt of bad times. Fortunately, an organization exists whose sole purpose is to assist those who desperately need a helping hand.

Founded in late 2004, Community Sharing is a non-profit outreach agency that serves food and provides support to hundreds of families and their companion animals. While they do not rescue pets directly, they save them every day. Community Sharing provides food, veterinary care and pet supplies, allowing families in financial straights to keep their companion animals at home, where they belong, keeping families together.

But that’s not all. This compassionate group’s greater mission is the provision of food, clothing, educational and emergency financial assistance to those in need while respecting their dignity and fostering their future independence. The vast majority of their aid recipients include the recently unemployed and the working poor. Overseen by a board of twelve members and operated by a group of over 100 volunteers, Community Sharing provides support to over 300 families and more than 1,000 individuals every month. Doing their level best to keep up with the prolonged needs of their fellow citizens, Community Sharing has pursued their mission of caring with unrelenting resolve.

When speaking about their work, Community Sharing shared the following quote from Henry David Thoreau: “It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being.” They know too well that when a pet parent is separated from a companion animal, especially due to financial hardship, spirits can be broken. For people without any other family besides a cat or a dog, losing this last emotional connection can be devastating. As their volunteers have witnessed firsthand, hard times become infinitely more difficult to bear without hope, without a positive relationship to help keep you going. More...

Socialization

Socialization is vital to raising a well-adjusted, calm and happy dog. And there’s no better time to start socializing your dog than when he or she is a puppy. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah’s joined by a very special guest who will help demonstrate the ins-and-outs of early canine socialization. Learn what to expect at certain periods of development, what to avoid when teaching puppies and the importance of positive reinforcement. In this video, Dr. Sarah shares valuable tips that can help your puppy grow up with the social skills needed over a lifetime.

Canine Grooming Tips by Dr. Jane

Family Washing DogNo one likes a bad hair day … and that includes your dog. Just like with humans, the skin is the largest organ of a dog’s body. Every day, their skin and coats are exposed to UV rays, pollution, infectious agents, drying heat or wind. Because it can contribute to a dog’s overall health, grooming should be an essential part of companion animal care. However, despite your best intentions, it’s not unusual for grooming habits to hit a glitch. Or two. Or three! While bathing a dog, I think all of us have experienced getting wetter than your dog, being interrupted by phone calls, or, worst of all, a sudsy canine tearing off, leaving a wet, sudsy trail behind him. As a veterinarian with a good deal of grooming experience, I can tell you that planning ahead can reduce unwanted problems and stress, so here are a handful of my best tips.

BEFORE THE GROOMING SESSION

Unfortunately, bathing can be stressful for some dogs, as some just tolerate it better than others. For those pups who are particularly skiddish, consider brewing some chamomile tea to calm your dog. Thirty minutes before you bathe, give your dog a cooled cup of chamomile tea with honey, followed by a dog treat that’s rich in carbohydrates, like our Antioxidant Health Bars. The carbohydrates will help deliver the calming tea straight to your dog’s brain. Better yet, you can both sit down with some tea and play soothing music, to set a calming tone for your upcoming grooming session. You can also give your dog tea during the grooming session. As we’ve already mentioned, just make sure the tea has cooled off (no hotter than room temperature). More...

Palliative Care

 

It’s one of those terms that not everyone is familiar with, but once you’ve witnessed “palliative care” in the case of a loved one, you’ll never forget it. According to the World Health Organization, palliative care is a medical approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing complications associated with life-threatening illness, often through the prevention and relief of suffering by treatment of pain and other problems. These treatments are offered regardless of whether or not there is any hope of a cure by any means.

While palliative care has been available to humans for decades, more and more veterinarians and pet parents are advocating for similar treatments for companion animals, too. As a pet parent, you owe it to yourselves – and your companion animals – to watch this special episode of Pet Talk.

Feline Diminished Thirst Reflex

Dr Jane Bicks
The French veterinarian Ferand Mery famously said, “God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing a tiger”. While the domestic cat cannot claim the venerable tiger as an ancestor, it is true that our cuddly feline companions are believed to have descended from felis sylvestris lybica, the African wildcat. Also known as “the desert cat”, this feline is a desert-dwelling species that inhabits harsh environments notable for their lack of food and even less water. To survive, the African wildcat can shed nearly all of her reserves of fat and protein, up to 40% of her weight! But even this highly adapted animal is much less tolerant to dehydration. And yet, it continues to thrive in desert climates without easy access to water.

Water is the single most vital component necessary to sustain the normal functioning of all living cells. Water has many functions: it eliminates waste, lubricates tissues, regulates body temperature, cushions joints and internal organs, aids in digestion, and much more.

In the wild, cats tend to eat small game characterized as high-protein and high-moisture content, such as rabbits, birds and rodents (even some juicy insects). Prey animals like these contain about 70% water, providing most of the moisture that wild cats need. Unsurprisingly, wild cats have failed to evolve a strong "thirst reflex" like that of dogs and humans. A thirst reflex involves complex interactions between the kidney and the brain. When we are dehydrated, the kidney releases chemicals that communicate with the brain, which in turn makes us consciously aware that we are thirsty and need to drink. More...

Angelas Angels Cat Rescue

Kitty

This month, we’d like to highlight another financial award given by the Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation, this time to Angela's Angels Cat Rescue, a donor-supported, non-profit, no-kill, cage-free cat rescue in Columbia, North Carolina. What began as a personal experience caring for and rescuing sickly and abandoned cats, quickly became the established rescue organization we honor here.

A small, tightly knit organization, their focus is on saving felines from euthanasia at high-kill shelters, while also taking in stray, abandoned and surrendered cats. They actively work to maintain relationships with other no-kill rescues, shelters and vets in the surrounding area, thus creating a strong network of caring individuals working in tandem to save as many cats as possible, placing them in loving, permanent homes. The majority of their rescues are in temporary foster care, although some of their adoptable cats currently reside in the cage-free “Cat House” on the founders’ property. More...

Are you traveling without your pet this summer?

 

One of America’s favorite summer pastimes is vacation travel. Often, these trips do not or cannot include our pets, so what do you do with your beloved companion when you cannot take them along? The most important thing is to not worry - the more we worry the less fun we have. Here are some of Dr. Sarah’s favorite tips to help your animals when you travel.

Do Pets Have Psychic Abilities?

Dr Jane Bicks
Have you ever wondered whether or not your companion animal has psychic abilities? While some might scoff at the idea, many are convinced that this is certainly the case.

Over the years, I’ve heard so many stories of animals exhibiting behaviors that seem as though they might fall within this realm of experience. For example, did you know that during the massive tsunami in December of 2004, scores of elephants in Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Thailand moved to higher ground before the destructive waves struck land? There were even reports of buffalo grazing by the beach in Thailand who lifted their heads in unison, stared out to sea and then stampeded up into the hills. Most, if not all of the villagers who followed the lead of these animals were saved. How did these elephants and buffalos know what was coming? Did they pick up on slight tremors that seismologists themselves were not able to detect? If so, why was it only the animals in low-lying coastal areas who exhibited strange behavior and not the rest of the animals in Southeast Asia?

There are many other documented incidences of animals sensing earthquakes all over the world. No one really knows how they sense an earthquake, although theories abound, from sensing vibrations, noticing changes in the Earth’s electromagnetic field or smelling released subterranean gases. Some of these theories could also explain why dogs ‘freak out’ before avalanches, but what about human-made catastrophes? During World War II, families in Britain and Germany relied on their pets’ behavior to warn them of impending air raids while the enemy planes were still hundreds of miles away! Just how did these pets know what was looming in their immediate futures? More...

Foundation Award Knocks Out Vet Bills for Boxers

Kelani

We’re pleased to bring you news of yet another financial award given by the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, this time to a small, inspirational group of Boxer rescuers in North Carolina.

Headquartered in Hampstead, the Carolina Boxer Rescue is a not-for-profit rescue organization established in October of 2001. In their decade of operation, they have helped to rescue and find forever homes for hundreds of purebred Boxers in North and South Carolina.

The folks at this amazing non-profit liberate Boxers from nearby shelters and humane societies, accept surrenders directly from owners who are no longer able to provide quality care, and welcome strays in any condition. The rescued pups are then transferred to one of many caring volunteer foster homes in both Carolina states, living indoors with their temporary pet parents. Every Boxer receives a complete physical, immunizations, sterilization, heartworm test and treatment for any illnesses or diseases. More...

Five Biggest Mistakes New Pet Parents Make

 

We’ve all been there. Looking into the pleading eyes of a puppy or kitten who needs a good home. In that moment, it’s hard to think straight. Fortunately, Dr. Sarah is here to help. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah discusses the five biggest mistakes that new pet parents make, and how to avoid them. By taking these solutions to heart, your next adoption could just be the best decision you’ve ever made!