Posted on May 17th, 2013
The dog days of summer – what you can do to ensure your pet is safe from the heat.
We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but the ASPCA warns being overeager in hot weather can spell danger.
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
- Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
- Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
- “During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,” says Dr. Murray. “Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions.” Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
- Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
- When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Posted on May 1st, 2013
Planning a garden for the spring? Make sure you stay away from planting these plants if you have pets!
Clear the Air would like to share some toxic plants you should avoid planting in your garden if you have pets. Check them out below:
- Lilies: Any member of the lily family, from onions and leeks to Easter lilies are toxic to cats. Dogs may also be victim to this plant family.
- Oleander: This beautiful flowering bush is a danger to pets and to humans. A dog may think it’s great for a quick game of fetch, but that might be the last game the dog will ever play.
- Foxglove: Pharmaceutical companies use this biennial to make drugs for the digoxin family. It acts on the heart and can kill quickly.
- Grapes: It doesn’t take many grapes or raisins to kill a dog, and the faster the animal gets to a vet, the greater the chance it won’t die. If your grape vine is like mine, it might be easier to keep the dog away from the vine as they fall off faster than they can be picked.
- Apple Family: Cats probably won’t be bothered by this because they don’t have a desire/need to chew on things. Dogs, on the other hand, are far more likely to have problems. Like oleander, the sticks are toxic. The cyanide content from the inedible parts of this family can kill. This family includes apricots, plums, cherries, apples and peaches.
- Comfrey: Eating this plant can cause liver problems, no matter the species. It’s not a common herb garden plant, but it is beautiful, so it could be found in a flower bed.
- Chrysanthemum Family: Like the onion family, there are a lot of plants and they don’t look like they are related. Pyrethrum is used as fly spray on horses, and there are those who feel that it is dangerous. Stronger versions include wormwood, mugwort and southernwood. The latter is very aromatic.
- Tomato Family: Many vegetables in a veggie patch are related to tomatoes. This includes potatoes, eggplant and peppers. They are all members of the nightshade family. The edible parts are just that; edible. However, the rest of the plant, including leaves, is not safe.
When you are planning a garden, it’s a good idea to look up each plant. You can also talk to someone at the local nursery to make sure your pets are kept safe.
Posted on April 26th, 2013
Summer is around the corner and that means flea season.
Clear the Air wants to protect your pets from harmful pests such as fleas.
Is your pet safe from fleas? Follow these helpful steps below to make sure your pets aren’t overtaken by flea infestation this summer:
- Clean your home thoroughly. For any level of flea infestation, you will need to do a thorough house cleaning. Vacuum every corner of your home, wash all your dog’s bedding and toys, and vacuum your car too. Even if you don’t take your dog in the car, fleas can travel on yourself and stay in your car when you leave the home.
- Use a spot on medication such as Advantage or Frontline. Although only applied to one spot on your pet, spot on medicine is extremely effective at covering your pet’s entire body. The medicine is not affected by bathing, swimming or rain and will kill and repel fleas for several weeks before application. Make sure to purchase one that is appropriate for your dog’s age and size.
- If your flea infestation is serious, oral medications when combined with spot on medications will work to disrupt the life cycle of fleas. Try hiding the medicine in your dog’s food or smashing it into a powder and mixing it in your cat’s wet food.
- Bathe your dog with special medicated shampoo that kills fleas on contact. This process usually needs to be repeated every two weeks as the effective ingredients in these shampoos don’t last as long as spot-on or oral medications.
- Keep your yard trimmed back to help reduce the population of fleas. You can try using various yard sprays or granular treatments available at your veterinarian or garden center.
Posted on April 19th, 2013
Feeding tips for your cat.
Do you wonder how much your cat should eat? Is your cat overweight? Check out some helpful tips below to find out what type of feeding schedule your cat should be on:
Age: Of course age makes a huge difference in how often your cat should eat. Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support growth than adult cats do. Kittens should be fed more often throughout the day. Kittens up to six months of age may require three meals a day. Once an adult, a cat can get fed once or twice a day. Senior cats age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding schedule.
Health: If your cat suffers from a health problem like diabetes, you may need to feed him depending on when his insulin he is administered. It is best to check with your veterinarian. If your cat has hyperthyroidism, he may want to eat all the time. When a cat ages, his teeth may go bad or may develop gum disease making it difficult to chew dry food. If this is the case, offering wet food is usually best. Or you can mash up dry food in the wet food to make it easier for your cat to chew his food.
Dry vs. Wet Food: Feeding only dry food is fine as long as it is complete and balanced. Cats that only eat dry food must be provided with lots of fresh water, especially if they are prone to developing urinary tract issues. It is usually a good idea to provide both dry and wet food to your cat.
Schedule: Pick a time that is easiest for you to prepare your cats meal. If mornings work best, make that a time you can give him his wet food. Once you start doing that for a couple days, your cat will already know his schedule and expect his food in the morning.
Do you have questions about feeding your cat? Please comment on our blog!
Posted on April 15th, 2013
What does a cat use its whiskers for?
Whiskers are a very important part of your cat’s body. Whiskers, like hair and nails, fall out and are replaced.
Whiskers are different from your cat’s body hair. They are two to three times thicker than your cat’s hair and are rooted very keep in your cat’s face into an area which is rich in nerves and blood vessels.
Cats have whiskers on their checks as well as shorter ones above their eyebrows, on their chin and on the back of their front legs. A cat’s facial whiskers are good for navigation, mood indication, and measuring an opening.
Whiskers help a cat feel his way around and are so sensitive they can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze. This helps a cat at night slink away through a room and not bump into anything. When a cat is angry or feels defensive, his whiskers will be pulled back. If the cat is happy, curios or content, his whiskers are more relaxed and can even be pushed forward.
Whiskers on a cat are primarily used to help a cat judge whether or not he’ll fit through an opening. A cat’s whiskers are roughly as wide as his body – being used as sort of a natural ruler. Whisker tips are sensitive to pressure. You’ll most likely see a cat stick his head in and out of an opening before he puts his body in it. By doing this, he judges the width of the opening to see if he can fit.
What other facts do you know about a cat’s whiskers? Please comment on our blog to share with us!
Posted on March 29th, 2013
Easter safety for your dogs and cats.
Clear the Air would like to share an article from The Country Feed Store about pet safety during Easter. Check it out:
- Treats – Chocolate bunnies are popular this time of year however chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. Small amounts of theobromine, the toxic ingredient in chocolate, can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. Large amounts of theobromine can be fatal.
- Xylitol – Sugar free treats usually contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked treats. However, xylitol is extremely toxic to your pets. Don’t let your dog or cat snatch up a sugar free treat.
- Easter Lilies – Along with spring comes Easter Lilies. However, Easter lilies are toxic especially to cats. They can cause kidney failure and even death. Usually, when a cat consumes an Easter lily, they will vomit and usually become depressed within two hours. The vomiting will subside however the cat will not eat and will become more depressed. Call your veterinarian immediately.
- Plastic Easter Grass – Cats especially are attracted to the plastic grass you use for your Easter baskets. However, if ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal obstruction. If you suspect your cat has ingested the plastic grass, call your veterinarian immediately. Use paper Easter grass instead.
- Loud Noises – If you have a party and there will be loud noises and children running around, it might be wise to put your pet away in a quiet area. If your dog likes company, make Easter fun by creating an Easter basket for him and let him enjoy the festivities.
Posted on February 25th, 2013
Bubbas - the Purrrrfect Choice!
Check out Bubbas’ bio:
This handsome boy is not only an absolute lovebug, but also has an adorable personality that is sure to capture your heart. Bubbas is 7-year old Domestic Longhair who is apt to be mistaken for a motor boat whenever he’s being pet, as he loves to purr! In fact, he has a tendency to enjoy such exchanges (petting for purring, and the like) so much that he might even drool a little! Despite how it might sound, I assure you, it’s adorable. This sweet guy takes just a bit of time to come out of his shell, but once he does – anyone who meets him is quick to fall in love. Bubbas is great about using his scratching post, and has a particular affinity for cat nip if one sees fit to offer him a treat for being so very awesome.
Bubbas would do well in a variety of homes, but doesn’t prefer to share the spotlight with another kitty and would therefore love to be the only cat in your life. But we’re certain that won’t be a problem with the abundance of personality and love this guy has to share.
For more information about this lovable gem of a kitty, or if you’d like to meet him, please contact Customer Service at (619) 299-7012 or stop by our Gaines Campus.
Animal ID 99289
Posted on February 20th, 2013
Cats are great at communicating and use their entire body to tell you how they feel or what they want. Some may not be too inclined to vocalize their opinions through a meow, while others may be a chatty Cathy.
Every kitty is born with their own baseline noisiness – some breeds are chattier than others such as the Siamese. A large amount of meows in cats is likely due to human behavior. If a cat meows because he wants to be fed, he will keep meowing until he gets food. If food is never given when he meows, he would be less vocal.
It is possible to talk to your cat more to encourage him to talk back. Reinforce him meowing by giving him something he wants, such as to open a door or giving him a treat. If your cat talks too much, teach him to do something that doesn’t involve meowing, such as walk in a circle, to get a treat. If you give your kitty attention each time he meows, he will know a meow is the key to getting noticed.
Keep in mind, excessive meowing can sometimes indicate pain, anxiety or another medical issue. If you are in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
The following are some reasons why your cat meows:
- Illness. The first step is a thorough checkup by your veterinarian. Numerous diseases can cause a cat to feel hunger, thirst, or pain, all of which can lead to excessive meowing.
- Attention seeking. Despite what some people think, cats don’t like being alone a lot. Cats often meow to initiate play, petting, or to get you to talk to them.
- Wants food. Some cats meow every time someone walks in the kitchen, hoping to get a bite. And many cats become very vocal when it gets close to their feeding times. If this is your problem, don’t feed your cat when she cries.
- Greeting you. Many cats meow when their people come home, or even when they just meet them in the house.
- She’s lonely. If your pet spends too many hours a day alone, think about getting a pet sitter to drop in during the day, or find other ways to enrich your pet’s life.
- A stressed cat. Cats that are experiencing stress often become more vocal. A new pet or baby, a move or changes to the home, an illness or the loss of a loved one can turn your cat into a talker.
- Aging cats. Cats, just like people, can suffer from a form of mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, as they age. They become disoriented and often cry plaintively for no apparent reason, especially at night.
- Cats that want to breed. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, then you’re going to hear a lot more noise. Females yowl when in heat, and males yowl when they smell a female in season. Get your pet spayed or neutered.
Posted on December 27th, 2012
This is such an amazing story and what a GREAT Christmas gift!
SAN DIEGO – It’s a very Merry Christmas for a cat named Sophia, who went missing from her family in Arizona seven years ago and found her way to the San Diego Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals over the weekend.
According to the Humane Society, staff members were able to contact Sophia’s family thanks to her microchip.
A Humane Society staff member will be flying the cat back to Phoenix on Wednesday.
“We heard that the family was unable to get Sophia back home to Arizona so we decided to do whatever it takes to get her back to them,” said Gary Weitzman, president of the SDHS and SPCA . “Everyone deserves to be home for the holidays, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get Sophia back to her family. This is another great testament to the importance of the microchip.”
Sophia’s mom, Trish Oster said, “I was shocked to hear that she was ok after seven years. I didn’t know how I was going to manage getting her from San Diego. I’m so grateful to the San Diego Humane Society for bringing my Sophia back to me. It’s the best Christmas gift I could have asked for.”
Posted on December 24th, 2012
Merry Christmas from Clear the Air! We would like to share some tips to keeping your pets warm this winter from the Humane Society of the United States.
Keep in mind, dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.
In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Extra precautions during winter months will make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm.
Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:
Indoors and warm – Don’t leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. No matter what the temperature, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.
The best way to keep your pets safe (and happy) is to keep them with you.
If your dog spends a lot of time outside – A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Keep the water flowing – Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
Be careful with cars – Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
Safety and salt – The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
Avoid antifreeze – Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.
The best tip of all: keep your pets with you – Probably the best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time.