Would you stay in an unhappy relationship because of a shared pet?

If you are one of the rare couples that have been together since your childhood school days, you deserve applause!

For the rest of us that have had our share of failed relationships, and we added a pet into the equation, it can be a difficult decision in deciding who gets custody of the pet when it comes time to part ways.

According to this article, some people will actually stay!  Would you or could you do it?  https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4532143/unhappy-couples-staying-relationships-pets/

As our society increasingly recognizes pets as a family member, I can sympathize with those that choose to stay.  Having a partner does help with saving time and money in the form of daily pet care and costs.  When you think about the time you spend feeding, walking or playing with your pets and cleaning up after them, time time it takes does add up.

Then there’s costs associated with food, treats, toys, grooming, health supplements, preventative and emergency care; that’s when it can hit your pocketbook.

Then there’s this couple that have chosen to have shared visitation and custody:  http://time.com/money/3994618/divorce-pet-custody-dogs-cats/

It will be interesting to see as time goes on, if this becomes a legal issue.  Or maybe it has?  What are your thoughts?

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How Pets Choose Their Favorite Pet Parent

Pet Sitting by PetWatch 916Have you ever wondered why some of your pets bond with you and some do not?

I found some answers when I stumbled upon these two fun articles from Petpav.com

I think you will not only find them interesting, but you may also learn some new tips on how to improve your bond with your pet.  Enjoy!

http://petpav.com/how-dogs-choose-their-favorite-pet-parent

http://petpav.com/why-do-some-cats-choose-a-favorite-person

September is Disaster Preparedness Month

September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The Harvey and Irma Hurricanes are yet another good reminder to have an emergency plan in place.  Even though we are in California and don’t get hurricanes, we still have to contend with earthquakes and fires that can suddenly impact our lives without notice.  For the most part the National Weather Service is able to predict when a hurricane will hit land, but predicting earthquakes and fires is nearly impossible.

It has been hard to watch the news, and read the online news reports of the number of stray animals that have been found after the Harvey and Irma Hurricanes.  It is hard to say whether or not an emergency plan would have prevented some of the lost animals from going missing, but it should be a good enough reason for pet owners to have one in place.  That is a part of being a pet parent because our pets are not able to fend for themselves long term.

If you do not have a plan in place, the ASPCA has a great article to help get you started:  https://www.aspca.org/news/disaster-preparedness-month-take-three-actions-protect-your-pets

Are Grain-Free Pet Foods Really Healthier?

We do the best we can to keep our pets happy and healthy so they can live as long of life as possible.  One way to achieve that goal is to feed our pets the best food we can, and meet their nutritional needs for optimum health.

When it comes to shopping for pet food there are so many products on the market to choose from that it can be overwhelming at times.  Good luck with reading the ingredient labels too!

The pet food industry has given corn and soy a bad reputation.  Some people consider corn and soy as “fillers,” meaning they zero nutritional value.

The Washington Post recently published a great article to find out if grain-free pet foods are healthier.  I think you will find their research interesting just as I did.  Enjoy!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/08/15/grain-free-pet-foods-are-no-healthier-vets-say-focus-on-this-nutrition-issue-instead

P.S.  Our friends from Reviews.com also conducted research on the Best Dog Food of 2017:  http://www.reviews.com/dog-food

Hurricane Harvey Donations

Photo credit: cnn.com

If you have been watching the news lately, you might have seen the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has caused in Texas and parts of Louisiana.  Every day the news media shares new photos and information on the lives that have been affected by this natural disaster.

It is amazing how many people would not leave their homes without their pets.  Some people did not have the luxury of taking their pets for many reasons, and they called upon any help to return to their residences to save their pets.

One of the rescue groups that has helped so many pets was the Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) pet rescue group.  APA! immediately jumped into action by opening their doors to incoming stray and lost pets, and provided rescue mission efforts by going in small boats to flooded residential areas to save stranded and missing pets.

We supported a fellow animal rescuer in making a donation to her fundraising campaign for the APA! rescue group, which is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization so donations are tax deductible.

We would like to ask for your support in making a donation to the campaign as well.  You don’t need to send a $25,000 donation like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!  No amount is ever too small and every $1 helps.  If you can’t donate, then would you please share this fundraising campaign?  The Texas pets thank you!

Click here to make a donation:  https://www.facebook.com/donate/336404263473115/

Sacramento City/County Cooling Center Opening June 17-21

The official first day of summer is Tuesday, June 20th, but the heat has already arrived!

The heat is such a difficult time for our pets.  If possible bring your pets inside, and make sure they have access to fresh clean water.  Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated too!

Don’t leave your pet in a car alone, period.

The ground can cause severe damage to their paw pads, so please walk your dogs in the morning and late evening.

Also, we received the following information for the Sacramento City/County cooling center.  Pets are welcome too!

Due to the excessive heat warning, City and County of Sacramento officials are opening a cooling center at Hart Senior Center that is located at 915 27th Street in midtown Sacramento. The cooling center will allow people to get out of the heat from 1 – 8 p.m., beginning Saturday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 21. Water will be available and pets will be welcomed. With the triple digit temperatures, Sacramento County reminds you take steps to keep cool. Stay in air conditioned buildings whenever possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, visit public places, such as libraries, malls, community centers, if possible. You are also encouraged to drink plenty of cool water and to remember to check on seniors and those with mobility issues. For a list of other cooling centers in the area, please call 2-1-1, or visit: http://www.211sacramento.org/211/2017/06/16/warm-weather-event-june-16-june-23-2017/ Please read the following heat safety tips: Sacramento Ready: http://www.sacramentoready.org/Emergencies/Pages/Heat.aspx City of Sacramento Heat: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Living-Here/Summer-Heat SacCountyNews: http://bit.ly/2sEFsng Sacramento City Express: https://sacramentocityexpress.com/2017/06/16/updated-june-16-2017-in-wake-of-heat-wave-city-adds-to-list-of-community-daytime-cooling-centers/

Employer-sponsored pet insurance?

Pet Care by PetWatch 916According to the New York Times it appears more employers are slowly starting to offer pet health insurance for their employees.   It sounds like a great idea except there are a few things to consider before signing up.  https://nyti.ms/2rSZ6Lq

If you go to your veterinarian office, they may offer their own internal Wellness Plan, which is for preventative care only.  Most of those plans include annual shots, dental cleanings and x-rays, and they may offer a small discount for visits for sickness or injury.

Unfortunately for the pet parents of seniors, such as myself with my 15-year old Chihuahua; I had to ask if that type of plan would be beneficial for us.  Recently Mia had some tumors removed, and my veterinarian told me she would not survive another procedure under anesthesia.  A Wellness Plan for Mia would not make sense financially because she will never again be able to have a dental cleaning.

Dental cleanings are now performed by a veterinarian and under anesthesia.  In 2012, under California Assembly Bill 2304, the California Veterinary Medical Board decided anesthesia free dental cleanings are more dangerous than cleanings under anesthesia.  It is now illegal for anesthesia free cleanings to be offered.  http://www.10news.com/news/10news-examines-anesthesia-free-pet-dental-care

Then there is the second option of purchasing Insurance for injury and disease, and that does not include preventative care.  Given Mia’s age, she does not qualify for Insurance because she is a senior.

Over all these new plans are very cookie cutter-ish, and do not take an individual animal’s health into account.

As a person who does not care to hand over my hard earned money to an insurance carrier, I would definitely recommend discussing with your veterinarian about what would be the best option for your pets.  In the case of Mia, we’ll be paying cash for her medical care.

If your employer offered pet insurance, would you sign up?  We would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Dogs and Hot Weather

Summer is almost officially here, and with that comes the hot weather.  With every heat wave comes to debate about leaving our pets in cars and how to handle these situations.

As a member of the Paws on Patrol volunteer group with the Elk Grove Police Department, we received the following information:

Recent changes in California law allow for citizens to remove an animal from a vehicle under certain circumstances, these would  include animals being left unattended during certain weather conditions. However, allowing local authorities to assess the animal is the recommended plan of action. They have received extensive training and have experience related to animals overheating.

If action must be taken to prevent further suffering or death of an animal the law requires you to:

  1. Check to see if the vehicle doors are locked.
  2. Have a good faith belief that forcible entry is needed because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if it is not immediately removed from the vehicle, and, based upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one.
  3. You must contact local authorities, i.e. Animal Control, Fire Department, Police, etc. prior to forcibly entering the vehicle.
  4. Remain with the animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until an animal control, police officer, or other first aid responder arrives.
  5. Use no more force than reasonably necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the animal.
  6. You must immediately turn over the animal to an animal control representative or law enforcement official.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.

If you see an animal left alone in a hot car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Call 916-714-5111 and have someone keep an eye on the animal. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.

If the animal is removed please provide water to drink, and if possible spray the animal down with cool water. If you can place the animal inside a vehicle with the air condition on if waiting for animal control or police to arrive. Be careful not to use ice or cold water, and don’t overcool the animal.