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Dogs and Cold Weather

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The weather is cold in most parts of the country, but that's no reason to leave your dog inside. There are many products to help keep your pup comfortable outdoors.

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Three story leap saves cat from apartment fire: Are you ready for disaster?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

We've all heard tales that assure us cats have nine lives and that they can survive falls from great distances. It's not something I'd like to test out, but one cat in Celebration, Florida, seemed to bear those stories out as he made a leap of faith and survived a massive apartment fire.

The cat was in a third floor apartment, and the roof was entirely engulfed in flames after a lightning strike. Finally he jumped and miraculously survived with burned paws and other minor injuries. There's a photo below, and you can see the entire video, shot by John Cooke, on the News 13 website.

Happily, he was reunited with his owner. It was an even more poignant reunion because the entire 24 unit apartment building was destroyed, and the residents lost all their possessions. Material items can be replaced, but nothing can replace that special furry friend.

You can't predict a lightning strike, but Florida also has hurricanes and every part of the country has its own natural disasters, like earthquakes and tornadoes. Sometimes you get some warning, and that's why it's critically important to have an emergency evacuation kit if you have pets. Want to know what should be in it? Find out here.

Research Shows Kennels Stress Out Dogs

Wednesday April 16, 2014

You may already know that your dog hates kennels, whether you put him in a crate overnight or when you go out or whether you have to board him at a kennel facility. My own dog, Bolt, went crazy in his crate when I first adopted him because he has such bad separation anxiety. Fortunately it's gotten much better now, and I don't need to crate him anymore, but it's a necessary evil for some dogs.

Researchers have found that kenneled dogs exhibit major signs of stress, and some even act mentally ill. You can read more about the study on the government's PubMed site. What do you do when you have to go out of town but don't want to kennel your dog? You can read about my solution here. I use Rover.com, a great online service that matches pet owners with people willing to watch them in their homes. Bolt stays with a Rover.com sitter who has a dog of her own, so it's more like an extended play date than boarding for him.

Other alternatives include looking for a pet sitter who comes right to your house or getting a friend to watch your dog in exchange for returning the favor later. Whatever you do, providing a more home-like environment will prevent your dog from being as stressed out as the canines in the study.

Robert Adaby Dog Food Company Issues Cat Food Recall

Friday April 11, 2014

The Robert Abady Dog Food Co. is recalling its Abady Highest Quality Maintenance & Growth Formula for Cats because of possible salmonella contamination. The food was sold in stores and online throughout the country.

The recalled product comes in two, five, and 15 pound corrugated boxes with plastic liners. They're marked on the top right hand side of the box with Lot # 14029/21.

If you have this food for your cat, return it to the store where you bought it for a full refund. If you have questions, call the company at 845-473-1900. They're open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can read more on the Food and Drug Administration website.

I've got some good advice for how to deal with a cat or dog food recall in this article.

Lots of Ways to Honor Pets in April

Sunday April 6, 2014

Did you know that the month of April honors pets in several different ways? Here's a list of thee month-long celebrations centered around our animal companions:

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month: The ASPCA's charter was signed in April, 1866, and it urges pet owners and animal lovers to use the color orange to bring awareness to the issue of animal cruelty. You can find out more on the ASPCA's April awareness web page.

National Heartworm Awareness Month: The American Heartworm Society brings attention to this potentially deadly threat to dogs in April. The weather is just starting to get warmer in many parts of the country, meaning that the risk is on the rise. Learn more on their website.

Pet First Aid Awareness Month: If one of your pets faces an emergency, are you prepared? Check out the American Red Cross website for more information on common problems and how to be ready to handle them.

I recommend having emergency evacuation supplies ready for your pets. Check out this article for a list of what you should keep on hand.

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