Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adopt a Senior-Pet-Month

Older pets may be a better fit

November is the official Adopt a Senior-Pet-Month and though some pet owners may not be up to the challenges often posed by older animals, it can be the perfect fit for others!

Kittens can be rambunctious, often times racing around the house like their tail is on fire! Although it's cute to watch, it can be too much for some owners to handle. Older cats have been around the block a few times and know what to expect. They are often calmer and know how to interact with children and dogs better.

Unfortunately many of these older animals are given up and turned into shelters or abandoned for various reasons. Their lives are uprooted and all they've known vanishes in the blink of an eye. Adopt a Senior-Pet-Month, sponsored by the ASPCA, is bringing awareness to the general public in hopes to encourage prospective adopters take a closer look at bringing home an older pet.

To view two great articles on Senior-Pet-Month visit AAHA and

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Hazards for Pets

The holiday season is fast approaching and we welcome the cooler weather, but not some of the hazards that exist for our pets.

Low toxicity
(may cause gastrointestinal upset, but unlikely to cause serious problems unless very large amounts are ingested):

  • Glow jewelry, glow sticks (can cause intense taste reactions, especially in cats)
  • School glues, epoxy glues
  • Pencils
  • Magic markers
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Mosquito Dunks containing Bacillus thuringenesis

Moderate toxicity (may cause significant signs beyond mild gastrointestinal upset):

  • Expandable wood glues (e.g. Elmer's ProBond, Gorilla Glue-even small amounts can form large gastric foreign bodies requiring surgical removal)
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Batteries
  • Charcoal lighter fluid
  • DEET

High toxicity (potential for very serious or life-threatening signs):

  • Antifreeze/coolants
  • Chocolate
  • Rodenticides
  • Hepatotoxic mushrooms (see below)
  • Human medications (cold and flu medications, decongestants)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Homemade "play-dough" (high sodium content)
Useful Websites for Poison Prevention

Poison prevention for pet owners:

Visit the ASPCA website to read about proper use of flea products, poisonous plants to watch out for (find lists of toxic and non-toxic plants, and 10 most common poisonous plants), and tips for making their homes "poison proof" for their pets.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Programs Assist Pet Owners Facing Tough Times

Some pet owner are seeking temporary assistance to keep their companion animals through the economic downturn, and veterinary practices can refer them to a patchwork of programs that help with big veterinary bills or routine animal care.

The recession has increased the demand and diminished resources for these programs, some of which operate through veterinary associations and colleges, but the programs still offer potential relief for pet owners who have lost a job or a home.

American Animal Hospital Association Helping Pets Fund
Unemployed pet owners increasingly are the beneficiaries of grants from the AAHA Helping Pets Fund. Since its inception in 2005, the Helping Pets Fund has awarded about $800,000 to help about $3,000 pets receive treatment for illness or injury. The fund offers grants to AAHA-accredited hospitals of up to $500 annually toward the treatment of pets whose owners are experiencing financial hardship and $20 annually toward the treatment of abandoned pets.

According to Jason Merrihew, spokesman for AAHA, "the fund is definitely something we want to grow so we can help more pets in need."

College - association funds
Veterinary organizations have created a number of small scale programs to assist pet owners with veterinary bills. In certain cases, veterinary colleges will subsidize care for pets at teaching hospitals. Some state and local veterinary associations offer assistance within their areas.

Additional assistance
Along with veterinary organizations, other nonprofit groups subsidize veterinary care at the national and regional level. Some programs focus on specific species, breeds, or medical conditions. Many provide free or low-cost spay and neuter procedures and routine preventive medicine. Pet owners can also turn to humane organizations and other groups for help with animal care other than veterinary services. Programs range from pet food pantries to temporary foster care.

Sources for assistance with veterinary bills and other animal care:
To view the entire article published in the October 2009 JAVMA visit Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Iams Pet Adoption Campaign Needs YOU!

October 1st marked the kickoff of the Iams Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Campaign.

The program will run through January 4th and aims to find homes for 1.5 million homeless animals this holiday season.

Over the past decade, the campaign has helped 3 million animals find homes, with more than 1.2 million pets adopted into families last year alone.

The campaign also provides resources and tips to help new or soon-to-be pet owners make informed decisions about adoption. Every family adopting a pet through the program will receive a kit and DVD with information about nutrition, training and proper care.

For more details regarding how you can help Iams and their adoption campaign, visit

To view the full article for Home4TheHolidays campaign in the November issue of Veterinary Practice News visit Veterinary Practice News.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don't miss this years Annual Walk to Save Animals

The Arizona Animal Welfare League and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be hosting the annual Walk to Save Animals November 14th at Tempe Town Lake. The event raises funds to rescue abandoned and homeless pets.

It will include a host of activities for adults, kids and dogs, including PetZoneBooths, games, prizes, dogs for adoption and a doggie dating game to find your canine's perfect match. Even Santa will be present to pose with your pooch!

The walk is from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm November 14th at Tempe Beach Park at Tempe Town Lake, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. The suggested minimum donation from walkers is $25. Animal lovers can form teams to raise money, and companies can sponsor and exhibit at the event.

The AAWL and SPCA will be offering low-cost vaccinations for dogs, $14 each or three for $40. The AAWL and SPCA use funds from the event to provide temporary homes for thousands of dogs and cats each year. The goal this year is to save at least 2,009 animals!

Call today and register at 480-423-1511 or visit