So, we know puppies are cute, and that cats can be finicky, and horses are incredibly regal and adored animals – but it’s their impact on human health that’s really noteworthy. From PTSD to depression, anxiety, and heart health, spending time with a pet has proven benefits you might not even be aware of. Petting an animal decreases blood pressure and cholesterol, which has positive effects on heart health, and depression can subside just by spending ample time with pets. Most dog owners engage in more physical activity than non-dog owners and owning a pet also benefits your immune system (and helps thwart children’s allergies!) Need we say more? Yes? Well, ok! Their unconditional love combats feeling of loneliness, which can fuel depression, as well as simply making you feel loved (seriously, what’s better than being greeted by your companion after a long day’s work?) Pets also help with recuperation – research shows that patients with a companion animal tend to have better recovery rates (in addition to combating depression that can sometimes come with illness or surgery.) Bonus benefit: they help you meet people! Pets can be an instant ice breaker as well as a way to get yourself out and about without feeling alone – from parks to training classes, your pet may be the key to your newest friend or love interest! We’d love to see photos of your special pals. Visit our Community page online to share and view other adorable pals!
Here at Stewart Pet, if there’s one thing we specialize in, it’s pet wellness. Sponsored in part by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this month is dedicated to the importance of regular wellness checkups and disease prevention. While nutrition isn’t specifically mentioned as a facet of this awareness holiday, we think proper nourishment is a major contributor to your pet’s health and wellbeing – hence why all of our food and treats boast simple, all natural, and safely sourced ingredients that pet parents can feel good feeding their furry friends.
Routine wellness check ups are also integral to your pet’s health, as it’s one of the most proactive ways to prevent serious problems. Don’t wait until your pet is showing outward signs of an ailment to make an appointment with your vet. The good news is that routine vaccines are the perfect opportunity for your vet to check on your pup, so make sure you schedule the appointment as soon as that reminder post card arrives!
October is particularly near and dear to our hearts because it’s Adopt a Dog Month, something we advocate 100%. You already know how we feel about dogs – they bring so much joy, activity, and love into our lives that, if we could, we’d adopt every dog we saw!
The best we can do is spread the word about this incredible awareness month and hope it prompts some of you to welcome a new dog into your loving home. It’s important to know that shelter dogs are absolutely no different than purebreds, and oftentimes you can find a purebred in the shelter if your heart’s set on it.
Bringing a new pet into the home is a bit of a big deal so a little preparation beforehand isn’t a bad thing. Invest in a dog bed, some toys, and of course food and treats (their favorite!) Any one of our delicious Pro-Treats are the perfect welcome home treat (and will quickly make you his new favorite friend) and the benefits of a raw diet are also something to consider for your potential new pal. For more tips on how to integrate a new pet into your home, head here.
In the days of Rene Descartes, animals were just red-blooded ‘machines’ without emotions or desires… My, how far we’ve come! Today, animal scientists are constantly finding instances of animals demonstrating cognizance, emotions, and compassion toward others. Just last week we saw a video of a dog trying to splash a dead fish back to life – which may seem arbitrary and laughable but all we saw was a dog that cared. He recognized something wasn’t right with the fish and tried his best to make it better. No machine – computer, car, or otherwise – has ever taken it upon itself to help us like that.
Just like humans, some animals just connect better with others – even those of other species. From a sanctuary cheetah and her canine best friend to a goat who led a blind donkey to water every day, there is no denying that animals have the ability to convey compassion and build friendships – and we find that absolutely incredible.
Turns out, they smell it (or so we think.) Does your dog know when it’s dinnertime? That he hasn’t been walked yet? Does he jump on the couch right before your significant other comes home? BBC’s “Inside the Animal Mind” delved into the issue of whether or not dogs understand the concept of time and found something we thought to be incredibly interesting.
When we leave the house, our scent degenerates at a certain rate and, if you are on a consistent schedule, dogs eventually put it together that when your scent fades to a certain level, that’s when you’ll be home. So, pretty much, dogs gauge the strength of a scent and eventually start attributing it to certain things ranging from when you’ll be home to how soon after you’ve walked through the door that dinner is served. Pretty crazy, right? For a better explanation, you can catch the whole clip here!
The American Kennel Club has dubbed September Responsible Dog Ownership Month and we want to honor all the responsible pet people out there! When you first considered getting a dog you probably thought, “How hard can it be?” Turns out, to be a responsible pet owner is actually quite a demanding task. Pets don’t just rely on you for food and water, they depend on you for everything that contributes to their wellbeing – vaccinations, exercise, entertainment, and support are all things your pet needs but can’t receive without you! If you’re anything like us, your pet quickly became your best friend so providing these things is your pleasure, but give yourself a belly rub for being an awesome pet parent! On that note, we’d love to see photos of your four-legged pals! Visit our online Community where you can upload your favorite photos and check out other furry friends! http://stewartpet.com/community/
Sometimes Mother Nature can strike without warning, and not being prepared can become life threatening in certain situations. September is Disaster Preparedness Month, dedicated to bringing awareness to – you guessed it – being prepared in the event of a disaster. This means having everything your family needs (pets included!) in the event of an emergency. Below are a few tips to help properly prepare your pets.
Start by identifying potential threats in your area – from tornadoes to tidal waves, not every area is effected by the same types of disasters. This can help shape your preparedness kit and the items you need.
The general rule is to prepare enough of everything for three days – so while you’re stocking up on canned goods for the family, don’t forget to grab an extra bag or two of dog food. It’s also crucial to stock up on any medicines your pet may be on and an ample supply of water. Have a freshly stocked pet first aid kit (gauze pads, ice pack, blanket, antiseptic wipes, etc.), a leash & collar (or pet carrier for cat owners), and make sure your pet’s I.D. tag is completely up-to-date in case your pet gets lost amid the chaos. Depending on your area, a flotation device and/or sweater for pets may be a major necessity as well.
Don’t wait until the wind is howling and the power is completely out in your city – come up with a plan and practice your course of action with the family, including designating someone to be responsible for the family pet!
For a full checklist for the whole family, head here: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster-safety-library
Dogs can’t exactly speak up and tell you their bones are hurting or that their paw is throbbing – and while technology is getting closer to helping owners understand, here are 7 signs that your dog may be in pain.
- Limping – this is an obvious one, but sometimes limping doesn’t mean their paws are hurting, it can be a sign of arthritis which can effect a lot more than just their leg or paw.
- Excessive Salivating – this is a good indication of an upset stomach. If you notice this, vomiting, diarrhea, OR constipation, consult your veterinarian.
- Whimpering or Whining – this is the most vocal that your dog can get, so keep an open ear out!
- Aggression or withdrawal – Just like humans, dogs can get grumpy if they’re feeling sub-par. If your usually sweet furry friend is acting crabby, or overly needy, consult your veterinarian.
- Appetite – if your dog is eating less than normal, he might be in pain – particularly oral pain.
- Licking – if you see your pet licking a certain area constantly, examine the area and gauge their reaction. Whether you’re able to locate the issue or not, consider calling your vet.
- Panting – excessive panting, sometimes accompanied by trembling or an increased heart rate, are signs of pain. While this one is a little tricky, you should know when it’s appropriate for your pet to be panting. For example, if you notice them panting before bed or during the night.
Remember to never give your pet over-the-counter meds without first consulting your veterinarian.
You LOVE pets, but your house is already full or your kids are allergic. The good news is, adopting isn’t the only thing you can do to positively impact pets (and people) in your community. Here a few ideas on how to get your fill of furry pals outside the home!
- Volunteer at your local shelter – There are tons of ways to make yourself useful at the shelter from walking the dogs to washing towels and changing food and water bowls. Your time will certainly not be wasted.
- Start a pet food bank – See if there’s a food pantry-type program in your area and see if they’d be willing to start accepting pet food (if they don’t already.) From there, start spreading the word – you’ll be surprised at how many people will rally for the benefit of pets in need.
- Clean up – Wild animals need our help too. If you have a river, beach, or open field in your area that needs tending to, grab some friends and pick up any trash or brush that’s inhibiting their home.
Dog parks can be a great outlet for dogs to run off leash and socialize with other pets – but they’re also a bit of a gamble, as some people aren’t aware of dog park etiquette. While you can’t control every dog that approaches your pet, here are some dos and don’ts on basic dog park etiquette that can make both of your experiences better ones.
- Don’t bring puppies under 4 months of age – prime socialization happens between 4 and 6 months old, anything younger may result in fear.
- Don’t take sensitive pups to an enclosed dog park when it’s busy – you don’t want to overwhelm and frighten them.
- Don’t force your pet to engage or participate – he’ll come around. Or maybe he’s just there to sniff, either way: let him enjoy himself.
- Don’t bring an abundance of treats or toys – your dog may be okay with sharing, but other dogs might not.
- Don’t bring dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered or are in heat – while your unneutered male may be a sweetheart, having unneutered males makes other owners nervous and some dogs react differently to those who are still intact.
- Consult your veterinarian and obtain all necessary vaccinations prior to taking them around a group of other dogs.
- Take a look around the park if you can. If you see a dog acting like a bully or an unsupervised pet, make the best decision for you and your dog.
- Clean up after your dog – there’s nothing that irks other pet owners more than seeing a dog owner ignore their dog’s waste. Plus, it’s a health hazard.
- Stay close to your dog – sure, you may take three loops around the park, but staying ‘involved’ lets other dog owners know you’re in control of your pet while also letting you intervene if other dogs get too rough with yours.
For more detailed tips on dog park etiquette, head here: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-park-behavior-know-risks-rewards