Study Reveals Pets Inspire Confidence, Reduce Stress

Perhaps you’ve been aware of the studies that show how pets reduce blood pressure and are good for your health, but an Israeli study done last year reveals that a positive relationship with your pet inspires confidence as well as lowering stress and its physical symptoms. These benefits only apply, however, if the animal is viewed favorably. If the animal is considered to be a nuisance; well, let’s just say you’d better find some love in your heart for your furry friends! Continue reading

Rescuing Dogs in Cars a Hot Topic

I went to a mall yesterday with a friend to beat the heat, but before we made it inside, my friend and I heard a crying dog in the parking lot. We were able to find the car by the whimpering sounds and the telltale cracked windows. Pretty soon we were joined by an elderly woman and her older mother hobbling along with a cane who also heard the cries. Though the oldest woman looked frail, she didn’t hesitate to state that she was ready to string someone up for leaving the precious dog in the heat. And I believe she would have too! Don’t mess with a mad 90+ grandma on the war path! Continue reading

Tragic Case of Cat Hoarding: 113 Dead Kittens, 51 Live Cats in California

Usually I prefer to keep Feline Fridays upbeat, but with the recent news release about a search and rescue operation in which 113 dead kittens and 51 live adult cats were found housed in horrible conditions, it was clear that the issue of animal hoarding needs to be addressed. This particular story is from Seaside, California, but a similar story just came out of Kansas City, Missouri which gives better insight into how the desire to love and nurture can turn into an unhealthy situation that affects the cats, people, and whole communities. Continue reading

Animal Advocates, Part 4: DogTeezers by Nova New York

Have you ever felt overwhelmed about the needs of this world, and wondered how you could make a difference? Many of us have learned to cope by sealing our hearts up against the hurts we see, believing that we are unable to make much of a difference as just one person. Continue reading

Hundreds of Cases of Sickened Dogs, But Still No Recall on Chicken Jerky Treats

There are now over 1,800 reports of dogs being sickened and even dying from chicken jerky treats made in China due to kidney failure. The FDA finally released their test results after msnbc.com reported that they were denied the requested information. Without confirmed contaminants, however, the FDA is unable to force a recall. There have been three federal warnings regarding possible safety issues since 2007 with the Chinese-made treats. Continue reading

An Eagle, a Fox, and a Cat Walk Into a Bar…

Okay, it’s an old joke. And this isn’t really a bar, but these guys all seem to be hanging out as friends on the porch, like they could be having a barbecue or something. This is up in Alaska, so the weather may not be exactly conducive to barbecuing, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping these guys from socializing. I’m actually going to be headed up to Alaska in a couple of weeks! Continue reading

Coping With the Loss of a Pet Companion

It’s not something I want to think about just yet, but our beloved dogs are getting older, and I know that we are going to have to face the loss of a pet sooner or later. And I’m going to have to navigate this emotional event not only for myself, but also with my children who’ve had our dogs as companions since they were very young.

It is not uncommon for people to bond deeply with their pets as they are often considered to be full members of the family these days. If the pet has been a comfort through a difficult life experience, that bond can be significant, which can make a loss of that animal very tough. Continue reading

Feline Fridays: CatFest 2012 – Pawsitively Successful!

I had the privilege of attending the Denver Dumb Friends League’s fourth annual CatFest. Over 2,000 people attended which shows that there are more than a few of us crazy cat ladies around! And, surprisingly, there are quite a few crazy cat guys out there too! Gone is the stereotype of men who love cats being aberrant misfits.

Much of this reversal in perception is due to Jackson Galaxy, the “Cat Daddy” who stars in Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” television show, now in its third season. He has brought a masculine, tattooed, rock and roll edge to cat advocacy, and that is a beautiful thing to see. In fact, Jackson Galaxy himself came to the CatFest and offered one-on-one advice, autographs, and photos for fans. I was struck by the genuine concern and individualized suggestions for each issue that people presented to him regarding cat behavior. Continue reading

Could Nonsurgical Sterilization Be the Cure for Pet Overpopulation?

Traditional methods of spaying and neutering dogs and cats have been helpful in reducing the number of companion animals in our nation’s shelters. But imagine how much time, money, and taxpayer dollars could be saved if there could be a pill or injection that could be administered to prevent unplanned pregnancies!

There are some promising products on the horizon that could at least be a tool in the arsenal to alleviate shelter crowding and reduce euthanasia of perfectly healthy, adoptable animals. And nonsurgical options make a lot of sense to humanely and fiscally treat animal populations. Continue reading

Hydrotherapy: How Swimming Can Lead to Better Health for Your Dog

Swimming is an amazing way to get exercise for humans. The increased resistance from moving in water provides maximized physical benefits in a short amount of time, yet buoyancy simultaneously decreases stress on joints. So it’s no wonder that veterinarians and animal rehabilitation specialists are starting to recommend hydrotherapy for dogs.

Water therapy is also a great exercise option, particularly in the summer months, when exercise can induce heat stroke. Plus, swimming can be just plain fun! Continue reading