As the summer months begin to fade away the kids start returning to school and parents say farewell to vacation time; it’s important to keep your pets in mind. In many instances, pet owners are home more frequently throughout the summer and spend more quality time with their beloved cat or dog, but what happens when summer is over?
Sometimes your pet may enjoy their alone time, but if you’re at work or school all day long, your faithful companion may not be quite as content. Without proper provisions your pet may become bored or lonely, which can ultimately result in behavioral, and/or medical issues.
Most pet owners are aware that their sweet little angels can sometimes get themselves into a big mess of trouble when left to their own devices. If you begin to notice that your pet has become destructive or begins to misbehave frequently, there is a simple explanation. They are BORED! Imagine being left home all alone all day long without anything to do or anyone to spend time with. Bored yet? Your pet feels the same way!
PetsAdviser.com suggests a couple ways to keep your dog entertained while you’re at work:
Be aware that you should monitor your pet with his/her new toys before leaving them alone for long periods of time to ensure safety. Do not leave them alone with toys they could potentially swallow and/or injure themselves in some way while playing.
Many people may not realize that when you leave for the whole day and your dog or cat doesn’t have enough activity, all they do is sleep. Here is the typical day for a puppy or kitty when you’re not there: they wake up, go outside, come back in, wait for you to leave, and then they sleep until you come home and eat dinner. This cycle may cause your furry friend to become overweight, which can turn into a serious medical issue.
According to the ASPCA, “Obesity is an extremely common problem in pets and, as with humans, can be detrimental to the health of a dog or cat. The overweight pet has many added stresses upon his body and is at an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain.”
In order to avoid this health problem, make sure that your pet is getting enough exercise during the times you are at home. If you have a feline friend consider buying a cat tower, toys with feathers or a laser pointer, something that they can run or jump after. Taking your dog for a regular walk or run before and after work will help to impact their day. Other opportunities include training classes and/or day cares for your dog. Visit SAhumane.org for dog training resources and local grooming/boarding facilities!
Even though the summer fun is nearing the end, don’t forget about your pet’s needs when you go back to work and/or school!
If you’re a pet owner then you know that your fur baby loves you with his/her whole heart! Are you doing everything to protect theirs? To help keep your pet’s heart healthy, it’s a good idea to learn about heartworms. What are heartworms?
Heartworm disease is a serious and common health problem that affects thousands and thousands of dogs each year (and less commonly cats as well). Canine heartworm disease is spread by an ordinary mosquito (not dog to dog), that can be found wherever mosquitoes breed (in the south, mosquitos can be found year-round). The cycle of this dangerous disease begins when an infected mosquito deposits larvae into the skin of the dog. The infective larvae then burrow into the tissue for 3-4 months where it develops into small adult worms. The infective larvae then penetrates into the veins of the dog proceeding to move toward the ride side of heart, where as adults they can live for 5 years. The lengths of these adult worms vary but can reach up to 12 inches. When adult worms of both sexes are present in the heart, they mate and produce thousands of live young called microfilaria. If the microfilaria are to continue their life cycle they must go to a secondary host, the mosquito. However, as these thousands of microfilaria wait for a mosquito, they remain alive in the dog’s bloodstream for as long as 3 years. If and when these microfilaria are ingested by a mosquito they too develop into an infected larvae where they wait to begin the cycle once again.
Here are a few our of adoptable heartworm positive dogs!
How do you know your dog has heartworms? Most dogs infected with heartworm disease show no visible signs for the first several years. Signs that do eventually appear depend on the number of worms present in the heart and bloodstream, the duration of the infection and the immune system of the dog.
Common symptoms of heartworm disease include:
Keep in mind that as the disease progresses, symptoms become more and more prominent. If your dog does have heartworms here are some of the affects that heartworms may have on your pet:
All three of these conditions are signs of advanced heartworm disease and must be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.
Here are a few more of our of adoptable heartworm positive dogs!
The GOOD news is, there are treatments available to help your dog become heartworm free! Treatment is very effective when the disease is detected early. Once heartworm disease is diagnosed, treatment must begin as soon as possible under the care of a licensed veterinarian. Furthermore, due to the nature of the treatment and the dangers involved, the dog must be given an evaluation to make sure he/she is healthy enough to handle the administration of drugs used to kill the worms. (The hardest part of heartworm treatment is keeping the dog calm and confined for so long. The period can be up to 6 months of no running, jumping or playing! It’s hard but absolutely necessary. Walking on a leash and low activity is crucial. If they are overly active, it can affect their treatment.)
The steps of this treatment are as follows:
Although there are a variety of drugs available, the two most common offered ONLY by veterinarians are Interceptor and Ivermectin (Heartguard-30). Both of these drugs are given orally to your pet once a month and are FDA approved. There are many products available in both topical and chewable, but ALL of them require a prescription. Products purchased from pet stores do not contain heartworm medication, only intestinal worm prevention. Annual blood tests are recommended for all dogs (all breeds, indoor and outdoor dogs) including those on prevention medication because no medication provides 100% protection against heartworms.
Other ways of lowering the risk of heartworm disease is to spray your yard, bedding and any other areas your pet frequents. Furthermore, another way to protect your dog from being bitten by an infected mosquito is to keep him/her indoors in the late afternoons and evenings when mosquitoes are feeding.
As you can see, heartworm disease is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, it is important to test your pet for heartworms annually if at least six months or older and to keep your beloved pet on some kind of preventive. Most heartworm preventions must be given once a month to your pet for their ENTIRE life. There is no miracle drug for the prevention of heartworms.
If you would like to help our heartworm positive adoptable dogs become heartworm free, donate to our Help a Friend Fund at SAhumane.org/donate.
Heartworms can be prevented and treated! Please check with your veterinarian for prevention and treatment options. Thinking about adopting a heartworm positive dog from the SAHS? Visit SAhumane.org/adopt to see all of our adoptable heartworm positive dogs!
Did you know that spaying (females) or neutering (males) your pet can prevent them from developing mammary tumors and certain cancers, such as testicular and ovarian? There are a lot of things to consider when caring for your pet, but if you have a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix there is a great opportunity coming up in the month of August!
The San Antonio Humane Society is offering a spay/neuter opportunity called Primp Your Pit. For only $20, your Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix can be spayed or neutered at the SAHS during the month of August! If needed, a rabies vaccine and nail trim are also included. To make an appointment, call (210) 424-7595 or visit SAhumane.org/spayneuter.
Attention! For Primp Your Pit, a $20 deposit is required (which is the cost of the spay/neuter surgery). Please pay via PayPal and provide transaction ID in the “Other Info” box when you fill out the spay/neuter appointment form! If you do not keep your scheduled appointment the deposit will not be refunded.
We hope to see you and your Pit Bull soon!
We have all experienced the moment of spending time with our dog cuddling or playing and all of a sudden he/she plants a sloppy wet kiss (lick) across your face. However, if you are the owner of a Chow Chow or a Chinese Shar-Pei you might know something about this “kiss” that other dog owners might not be aware of. Not all dogs have pink tongues! Some breeds, such as the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei have completely black or bluish tongues or spots of blue/black on their pink tongue.
You might be wondering why some dogs have this coloration instead of the more common solid pink tongue. The answer is really simple. It’s just extra pigment! Humans have freckles or birthmarks, which is exactly the same concept.
Just as some people have more freckles than others, some dogs may have pink tongues and some may not. Most dogs are born with pink tongues and some may develop the darker pigmentation as they age. For example, purebred Chow Chows are born with the pink coloration and it darkens as they age. It is simply a unique characteristic of some canine cuties!
Some breeds, specifically the ones mentioned above, are more prone to having blackish tongues. DogBreedInfo.com provides a list of several playful pooches that have also been known to this feature. Some of the breeds include:
Nevertheless, it is very important to keep in mind that a dog’s tongue is also an important indicator of his/her overall health. Here are a few coloration warnings according to HealthyPets.com to keep an eye on (contact your veterinarian if the coloration does not return to normal):
So now you know, some dogs just have a little extra pigmentation, which makes their tongues black. It’s that straightforward! Next time your cuddly companion or playful pal surprises you with a little extra puppy lovin’ you might take a moment to see if your dog has a black tongue! Or if you’re curious to see if any of the dogs at the San Antonio Humane Society possess this unique trait, check out SAhumane.org/dogs.