5 Phone Numbers Every Dog Owner Should Have Handy

By | January 24th, 2020|Categories: General, Pet Advice, Pet Safety Tips|

If you’ve got a dog (or, is it that the dog has you?) this is one list you’ll want to print out and keep near the phone. In an emergency, when the internet is down, or if you simply need assistance with your dog from a real, live person, these 5 phone numbers should be in the Rolodex of every dog owner: National Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435. In an emergency every second counts. The National Animal Poison Control Center is a 24-hour manned emergency hotline sponsored in part by 36 different companies. While there is sometimes a charge for consultation, this call could save the life of your dog. Spay/Neuter Helpline: 1 800 248 SPAY. Irresponsible breeding results in the abandonment and euthanization of thousands of dogs each year. SPAY USA is a national referral service that helps connect pet parents with free or low cost spay and neuter services in their area. With partnerships at over 950 programs and clinics nationwide, they eliminate finances as an excuse for not spaying or neutering your pets. Emergency Disaster Information Line: 1 800 227 4645. Provided by the American Humane Association, this number provides support and relief information for pet owners [...]

How a therapy dog is changing students’ lives at Lakewood High School

By | January 24th, 2020|Categories: General, Pet Advice|

Able, the school's furry friend, is making a difference every single day Author: Dorsena Drakeford Published: 5:40 AM EST January 15, 2020 Updated: 5:40 AM EST January 15, 2020 LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The stresses of life impact just about everyone, especially today’s teenagers. Lakewood High School has a special way of helping students handle the emotional roller coaster life can bring. It comes in the form of a classmate, named Able, who very well may be the most popular – and furriest – "kid" to roam Lakewood’s halls. Able is a therapy dog. “At first I was a little scared because I’m not really a dog person,” said student Alicia Dinya. “When I found out, he wasn’t that bad, I started liking him.” Able’s favorite spot to visit? No surprise: The lunch room. “He just roams the entire cafeteria sometimes looking for snacks, but usually pets,” said teacher Julie May, who brings Able to school. He’s a friend to all, and ready to lend an ear whenever needed. “He’s so sweet,” said 11th grader Shantajah Davis. “When you’re upset or when someone’s sad or something, he knows.” Adopted by May in 2012, Able is not her first therapy dog. A pup named Madison [...]

And GOD said, I will send it without wings, so that no one suspects that is is an Angel.

By | January 2nd, 2020|Categories: General|

Pet obesity on the rise for eighth consecutive year

By | October 1st, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice, Pet Safety Tips|

BREA, Calif., Jan. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- One of America's most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight, and statistics show that pet owners should share that goal with their dogs and cats. Data from Nationwide, the nation's first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the eighth straight year. Nearly 20 percent of Nationwide members' pet insurance claims in 2017 were for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity- equaling a sum of more than $69 million in veterinary expenses. The boost in total obesity-related claims signifies a 24 percent increase over the last eight years. As with people, excessive body fat in pets increases the risk of preventable health issues and may shorten the life expectancy of dogs and cats. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 700,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat conditions related to or made worse by obesity. Below are the results: Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions 1. Arthritis 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Chronic Kidney Disease 3. Liver Disease 3. Diabetes 4. Low Thyroid Hormone 4. Asthma 5. Torn Knee Ligaments 5. Liver Disease [...]

Helping stray cats: TNR is the key

By | September 17th, 2019|Categories: Advocacy, Cleveland News, General, Lost Pets, Pet Advice|

Nearly three-quarters of cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters each year are killed. Most are free-roaming, stray or feral cats. Here at Best Friends, we refer to them as community cats. Although some of these cats are adoptable, many more are not. And for unadoptable cats, a trip to the shelter is often fatal. TNR saves cats’ lives Trap-neuter-return (TNR) entails trapping, neutering, vaccinating, and returning community cats to their original outdoor locations. It is not only the most humane method of preventing cats from entering the shelter system, it’s the most effective. TNR also ensures the cats’ health and welfare. Once these cats are sterilized and vaccinated, they can live healthy, happy lives in their communities, where caring residents look out for them. Sterilization and vaccination provide a public health benefit to the community, too, a vast improvement over the failed trap-and-kill approach that’s been used for generations. What is Best Friends doing to help? Best Friends sterilizes, vaccinates and releases tens of thousands of community cats each year, preventing many thousands of births. Support TNR and help reduce the number of community cats, and ultimately the number of cats being killed in America’s shelters. Find a program [...]

It’s summer! Please don’t leave your dog in your car!

By | June 4th, 2019|Categories: Cleveland News, General, Pet Advice, Pet Safety Tips|

Every spring and summer there are many well-meaning animal lovers who leave their (primarily) dogs in vehicles while they shop or run errands without realizing that their beloved pet may end up suffering — or even dying — due to the effects of heatstroke. Most people don’t know that even on mild days, with temperatures in the low to mid-70’s, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach 100 degrees. In warmer, 85-degree weather, temperatures can reach 120 degrees within a half hour, even if a car window is left open a crack. Leaving animals unattended in a vehicle on a warm or hot day  is not only unsafe, it’s also illegal. Leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably cause suffering, disability, or death is a crime that carries with it up to six months in jail in L.A. (Penal Code 597.7). Click here to read the entire article on and for links to download the Hot Oven, Hot Car poster.

What to do if your dog’s been skunked

By | June 4th, 2019|Categories: Cleveland News, General, Pet Advice|

Spring brings us pretty flowers, chirping birds, and litters of kittens that come from roaming unneutered cats. Other wildlife comes out of their winter nests to forage for food and mating too. Typically this activity is at a peak in early spring and fall when the weather is warmer. One of the most active critters that we see or smell the entire spring and summer season is the little black-and-white varmint known as a skunk. They are typically active at dawn and dusk. No matter their size, skunks can secrete from their specialized anal sacs for several feet a potent and foul smelling oil that sometimes can be harmful – even deadly – to dogs if the spray gets in their eyes, nose or throat. Skunks have tested positive for rabies in the United States and Canada. This is another well-documented reason why our pets need to be current on immunizations. Save yourself the stress and mess of using tomato juice, vinegar, pretty smelling soaps or shampoo. There are three safe and effective products to have on hand for a veterinarian-approved recipe you can make in your own kitchen to neutralize the skunk spray on your dog. Simply mix together 1/4 [...]

The Best Food-Dispensing Toys 2019

By | May 30th, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice|

If you're not using treat-dispensing toys with your dog, you're missing out on one of the greatest training inventions of the last 100 years - seriously! These wonderful tools and toys can help you with a long list of dog-training and -management challenges, including boredom-busting, excessively fast eating, high-energy consumption, building mental skills, counter-conditioning, redirecting inappropriate behavior, and much more. In the mid-1980s, when I acquired my first Australian Kelpie, food-stuffed toys were an unknown. A tennis ball was "the thing" - and Keli, my Kelpie, was quite addicted to hers. Then we discovered the Kong. Still perceived primarily as a fetch toy in those days, the hollow, snowman-shaped, hard, rubber toy delighted my dog with its high-flying unpredictable bounces. Almost as good as herding sheep! She switched her allegiance from ball to Kong.   Read the Full Article

Your dog is trying to talk to you. Are you listening?

By | May 23rd, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice|

Don't ignore him! You can recognize what your dog is saying to you - even what he's thinking - just by learning his body language. Have you ever noticed how a puppy yawns when picked up? He's trying to calm himself down. Have you noticed that your dog barks at seemingly random times - even if he's not a "barker"? This is a reaction to something you've not noticed. Stay alert, and you'll begin to pick up what your dog is telling you - things like… - What stresses him out when he goes outside - "I'm really bored!" - The best time to eat - "Leave me alone!" Decoding Your Dog is a revolutionary book that will show you how to use canine communication techniques to eliminate "bad" behaviors - like seemingly random barking - and encourage "good" ones, such as politely greeting strangers. You'll learn how an eye movement can lessen your dog's anxiety...when a growl isn't aggressive...when that adorable, wide-eyed look isn't a good thing...and the one thing to do that will help your dog calm down when he seems like he's lost it! Don't let a language barrier hold you back from building a better relationship with [...]

What is your dog’s bike style?

By | May 22nd, 2019|Categories: General|

Westlake | Bay Village Observer by Nancy Brown The growing popularity of pups participating with biking enthusiasts has evolved into a growing industry in recent years. A variety of smart and safe canine biking accessories, books, websites and even travel destinations are available for the potential barking buddy biker. Barking bikers of all sizes can now safely join family members and friends on this adventure because of education on precautions to take including the importance of training, conditioning and proper equipment. It is essential to have your dog thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to rule out any condition that could inhibit this new activity. Certain breeds and body structures are not recommended for biking on a leash or attachment next to the bike. This would be puppies and senior dogs, along with those 30 pounds and under, flat nose breeds, and dogs with short legs or long bodies. There are accessories like sturdy baskets and towing devices at bike shops and online for these canine types to safely participate. A padded, well-fitting harness is clearly safer for the dog cruising next to the bike. Reflective and other attire add-ons are great safety choices to consider. Check out cooling vests/collars and [...]