Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hot Cars and Loose Pets ~ From the AVMA

(No, it's not the name of the latest tell-all tabloid bestseller. We're talking about seriously risky situations that happen every day, but are entirely preventable.)

Brutus, Duke, Coco, Lola and Jake...sure, they're fairly common pet names, but they're also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm (and not necessarily hot) days while their owners were shopping, visiting friends or family, or running errands. What's so tragic is that these beloved pets were simply the victims of bad judgment.

Want numbers? An independent study1 showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. And cracking the windows doesn't help.

Elapsed time Temperature rise inside vehicle
10 minutes 19°F
20 minutes 29°F
30 minutes 34°F
60 minutes 43°F
1 to 2 hours 45-50°F

Click here to view an animated video of the temperature rise in a car over time.
(Courtesy ggweather.com/heat)

...add to that the fact that most pets are not properly restrained while in the car, and you've got some dangerous situations – for people and pets alike. Unrestrained pets can be seriously or fatally injured, or could even hurt you, in a collision or sudden braking situation. In addition, they're a distraction for the driver, which increases the risk of driver errors. According to a 2010 American Automobile Association (AAA) survey, 2 out of 3 owners engage in distracting behaviors (playing with, feeding or petting their dog, or letting their dog sit in their lap) when pets are in the car...and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 20% of injury crashes involve distracted driving.

Please don't become another statistic: only take your pets in the vehicle with you when you absolutely need to, and always properly restrain your pets while in the vehicle.

How can you help prevent these injuries and deaths?

  • Learn more about keeping your pet safe during travel;
  • Set a good example by leaving your pet(s) at home except when you need to have them in the vehicle;
  • Set a good example by always properly restraining your own pet(s) while in a vehicle;
  • Educate clients, family and friends about these issues and how they can keep their pet(s) safe;
  • Download and distribute our posters to help educate pet owners about the dangers of hot vehicles and lack of restraint:

Other AVMA resources:

MyVeterinarian.com: Pets in Vehicles (information for pet owners about the risks associated with pets in vehicles)

FAQs about Traveling with Your Pet

Saturday, May 28, 2011

7 Sneaky Ways to Keep Pets Slim

According to the latest veterinary surveys, more than half our nation’s dogs and cats are overweight. This means almost 90 million pets are at a higher risk for developing arthritis, diabetes, kidney and heart disease, high blood pressure, and many forms of cancer. So how can you slim down your super -sized pet and reduce its risk of these serious diseases? The answer is easier than you think. These seven tips can help you trim excess pounds off your pet and keep her healthy.

1. CALCULATE CALORIES If you don’t know how many calories your pet needs each day, you don’t know how much food to offer. And don’t think you can trust the bag—feeding guidelines are formulated for active, adult, unspayed or unneutered dogs and cats. This means that if you your pet is an older, spayed or neutered, indoor lap lounger, you’ll likely be overfeeding by 20 percent to 30 percent if you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions. Instead, ask your veterinarian to calculate the number of calories your pet needs each day. Or use this formula: Divide your pet’s weight in pounds by 2.2. Multiply this figure by 30. Then add 70. This number will give you a good idea of how many calories a typical inactive, indoor, spayed or neutered pet needs. Of course, each pet’s metabolism is different, so consult your veterinarian before starting your pet on a diet.

Your greatest tool in the fight against a pet’s excess weight is a measuring cup. Too many pet owners simply fill the bowl or guesstimate how much they’re feeding. Studies have shown that feeding as few as 10 extra kibbles of food per day can add up to a pound of weight gain in a year for indoor cats and small dogs. Keep in mind that for the average 10-pound cat or small dog, this is a 10 percent weight gain. After you calculate how many calories your pet needs, determine how much food you should feed at each meal—and measure it.

3. VITAL VEGGIES I’m not against treats; I’m against junky treats. Too many pet treats are calorie grenades laden with sugar and fat. If you’re going to give your pets extra goodies, choose low-calorie, sugar-free options with health benefits. I recommend single-ingredient treats like sweet potatoes or functional treats that help keep teeth clean or promote mobility. As an alternative to highly processed store-bought treats, try offering dogs baby carrots, green beans, celery, cucumbers, sliced apples and bananas, and ice cubes. For cats, try a flake of salmon or tuna. While you’re at it, put down the potato chips and share a carrot with your pooch. You’ll both be healthier for it.

Whatever treats you give, be sure to count those calories. Many pet owners feed the proper amount of food but sabotage their efforts by adding treats throughout the day. As few as 30 extra calories per day means your pet may gain three pounds in a year.

5. HUSTLE FOR HEALTH When it comes to a long, pain- and disease-free life, research proves our most powerful partner is daily exercise. For dogs, as little as 20 to 30 minutes of daily brisk walking is all it takes to boost immune function, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce many behavioral problems. For cats, try playing chase (using a laser pointer, remote-controlled toy, or ball of paper) for five to 15 minutes each day.

6. SMART SUPPLEMENTS When it comes to keeping fit and trim, supplements may help. Many dogs, cats, and people can benefit from taking a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement. These powerful fish oils pack a potent antioxidant punch that has been proven to help prevent numerous diseases. In addition, they may help ease achy joints and encourage weight loss. L-carnitine has been shown to aid weight loss and promote lean muscle mass. Ask your veterinarian if these supplements make sense for your cat or dog.

Most pet cats and dogs don’t need a high -carbohydrate diet, yet that’s exactly what most of us feed them. Instead, look for low- or no-grain options with a protein source as the first ingredient. Your veterinarian can recommend the best food for your cat or dog. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to help your cat or dog maintain a healthy weight. Even though they might love eating pizza and ice cream every day, you know that’s not smart. It’s up to you to feed healthy, nutritious foods and treats and to exercise your pet daily. By using these seven simple suggestions, you’ll be on your way to your pet’s best—and healthiest—year yet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 15-21 is Dog Bite Prevention Week

The week of May 15-21 is Dog Bite Prevention week. Dogs and children can become lifelong friends. However, no child should ever be left unattended around a dog. Most children are at a height in which they are at eye level with dogs. If a dog is aggressive or is uncomfortable with interaction and is not properly managed, it can result in a bite.

Dog bites can be prevented by managing both four and two legged companions. Most bites can be easily prevented. Always keep interactions between dogs and humans (especially small ones!) a positive experience.It is always a good idea to be aware of your dog’s body language. Teaching your dog basic manners helps to ensure safe interactions with children. It is also important to teach children how to safely interact with dogs.

Dr Sophia Yin has wonderful information regarding canine body language. Click here.

Our own Poppy’s Place offers information on dog safety. Click here for a great article written by Karen Peak:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Be Kind To Animals Week 2011

We love our family pets.They provide companionship, affection, humor and so much more in our daily lives. The month of April was Anti Cruelty towards Animals month. The first week in May celebrate national Be Kind to Animals week.

Below are just some ways to celebrate:

Help a local shelter or rescue by donating needed items or your
time. Many local organizations have wish lists to make a dog waiting for its forever home more comfortable. This may include: unopened food, blankets, towels or toys. Volunteering your time can also make the difference in a dog's life. Click here to see if there is a shelter or rescue near you.

Speak for the animals by reviewing legislation that can affect the care or well being of beloved pets. From puppy mills to breed specific legislation, one can usually find a cause that hits close to home. Well written letters are recommended.

Sponsor a d
og in need. PBRC has thousands of Pit Bulls waiting to find their forever home on our website. By featuring a dog, it can help promote that dog's adoption. To feature a Pit Bull on our site go to: http://pbrc.net/dom.html

Report any cruelty witnessed to save a dog from neglect or abuse. Contacting local humane agents or authorities is a only phone call away. Click here for our recent What Can I Do? blog for more info.

On a lighter note, spoiling your dog is also an acceptable way to
celebrate! PBRC's Poppy Shop offers lots of fun ways for you and your dog to celebrate and help the dogs of PBRC! http://www.pbrc.net/shop/shop.html

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Endings 2012 Calendar Photo Submissions

Hello Friends!

Have you ever envisioned your rescued pit bull gracing the pages of a calendar? Does your pup have good looks, charm, a touching story, really cute costumes or active in sports?

If so, here is your chance to make your
dreams a reality and share your rescued pit bull with the world!

We are opening submissions for PBRC's 2012 Happy Endings Calendar! An annual tradition since 2002, our Happy Endings Calendar is full of accurate breed information, heart-warming rescue stories and 12 months of GREAT color pictures of your rescued pit bulls! We are accepting pictures now through July 3, 2011.

All the information you need to enter regarding type of photo, submission and cost, can be found here: Happy Endings Photo Submission.

All the proceeds from the photo submissions, as well as the sale of the calendars, are used to help pit bulls in need.

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to have your furry friend be a pin-up, and to help others in need!