It’s widely understood that dogs dream. If you have a pup, you’ve inevitably witnessed an active dream of some sort, and I’ve seen it all with my furry companion, Juniper (I’m convinced she dreams about playing with her best friend, Luna, and chasing bunnies. Lots of bunnies). While we’ll never know for certain what exactly our furry pets dream about from day to day, researchers have made strides in decoding a sleeping canine’s brain. Spoiler alert – it’s not that different from our own. Here’s what we know so far…
It’s that time of year; with the kids back at school and germs on the rise, everyone is more susceptible to the flu, even our pets. That’s right: with a recent canine influenza outbreak in the Midwest, dog owners are concerned and asking questions. So, today we’re breaking down everything there is to know about dog flu and what we can all do to be prepared….
Q: What is canine influenza?
A: Canine influenza is a respiratory disease in dogs. There are two currently strains identified: H3N8 and H3N2. Both are considered highly contagious. Frustratingly, influenza viruses are able to change quickly and develop new strains.
Q: Where have dogs been diagnosed with the flu?
A: Dog flu was first diagnosed in Florida in 2004 and has since spread around the country. States affected with the flu include Chicago, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Montana, Louisiana, and North Carolina, among others. At the moment, canine influenza has yet to spread to New York or New Jersey, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay vigilant and up to date on its whereabouts.
Q: How is it transmitted?
A: A dog can become infected by being in close contact with another dog with the virus, especially in kennels, dog parks, groomers, crowded sidewalks, and shelters. Again, it is highly contagious and spreads similarly to a human virus via respiratory secretions (coughing or sneezing) or by being in contact with a contaminated object like a leash or collar. The virus, while originally transmitted via horses, has only been shown to affect other dogs, and in some cases, cats.
Q: What are the symptoms, and what is the treatment?
A: A common question is whether you can tell if your dog has the flu. Yes – once exposed, an infected pup will feel under the weather and may cough, sneeze, run a fever, and have a loss of appetite. Luckily, the virus is rarely fatal. Veterinary guidance is recommended if a dog shows signs of the flu, and a vaccine is available for at-risk canines.
Have more questions? We’ve found this website about canine influenza to be very helpful and informative. If your state has been infected, we recommend taking a look at this article, which outlines prevention and control in detail. Meanwhile, we always urge pet owners to practice cleanliness and safety when it comes to petting other dogs and letting your own furry friend interact with other canines. Hoping everyone’s four-legged pals are healthy and happy!
We tend to think of cats and dogs as being polar opposites. “I’m a cat person,” we explain when passing on the opportunity to pet a pup. But are our beloved felines and canines as different as we think? An experiment conducted in Japan suggests otherwise…
After the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many pets have been displaced or affected, so we wanted to share ways we can all help in the aftermath. Please feel free to pass this post along to friends and family, and we encourage you to spread the word. Any help, no matter how small, makes a big difference!
The Humane Society has been deployed to Texas and is working tirelessly to rescue, transport, and rehabilitate lost pets. They are taking donations here.
Houstin SPCA and SPCA of Texas are assisting pets and people evacuate North Texas, and providing shelter for hundreds of animals. Last Friday, they rescued 123 cats from a cat shelter! Here is where you can donate.
Austin Pets Alive is currently providing shelter for more than 600 pets, and is need of crates, cat litter, bedding, and more. See the complete list here.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has a page on their website dedicated to Hurricane Harvey, including breaking news, wishlists, lost and found pets, ways to donate and ways to volunteer.
Donating is not the only way to help. If you’re in the area, consider fostering one of the animals, volunteering at a shelter, or dropping off supplies (most shelters are in need of towels/blankets, cat litter, toys, newspaper, and crates). We also recommend following a Facebook page like this one to stay up to date on how you can help.
Sending our love and best wishes to all the furry animals in need right now!
Image via bestfriends.org.
There are many things that make our furry canines so easily lovable; their unconditional love, their loyalty, their big floppy ears and their goofy personalities. But what makes them so friendly, and so completely content to socialize with humans? The reason may surprise you…
Having a furry friend is one of life’s greatest joys. They add humor, endless entertainment, and company — and even when they get themselves in trouble, they’re still so darn cute. But did you also know your dog is also the best at cheering you up? Here are 3 ways they can lift you out of a funk…
- They increase oxytocin, the “love hormone” released in our brains during moments of bonding and affection (include link to previous article on Pampered Pets: http://pamperedpetsinc.com/do-pets-love/). Not only do we experience the feel-good boost, our furry canines have been proven to experience it as well. The next time you’re feeing down, cuddle up with your four-legged companion. If that’s not love, we don’t know what is!
- They improve your social life. A recent study at Tufts University found that individuals who felt attachment to their pets also reported feeling “more connected to their communities and relationships.” Next time you’re feeling lonely, make a lunch date with a friend, then thank Fido.
- They’re good listeners. Well, not all of them, but hear us out: studies have shown that talking to oneself can “speed up cognitive abilities in relation to problem solving and task performance.” So we’re going to put our spin on this: if you don’t already, talk to your pet. Especially on a day you’re feeling blue. Think of it as free therapy – plus, your therapist is cute!
How does your pet cheer you up when you’re feeling down? We’d love to hear in the comment section below!
Paid vacation time, gym memberships, car washes, and on-site child care are all trending work perks that keep employees happy. The latest to join the list? Pet insurance. With the industry growth nearing 15 percent in the last few years, companies like Microsoft and Yahoo are adding pet insurance to their employee’s extensive benefit plans.
It’s a smart move, says Dr. Tracy Jensen, former president of the American Animal Hospital Association, in a recent New York Times article. Pets are part of the family, and more people are going the extra mile to make sure their four-legged family members are protected and covered when it comes to their health and wellness. While pet insurance has its caveats (it can be as complicated and convoluted as human health insurance), it comes as a welcome addition when offered as a work perk – especially knowing our furry friends are never far away from the best possible care.
Curious to read more about pet insurance? We covered the nitty-gritty here: Do or Don’t: Pet Insurance
This is not our typical topic of choice on the blog, but when we heard about a nation-wide recall on rawhide bones and chew products distributed around the country, we thought we should let you all know!
United Pet Group, which is based out of Illinois, initiated the recall when it learned that several manufacturing facilities in parts of South America were using an ammonium compound mixture on their chew products. The chemical is not approved in the U.S. and may cause “reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting” in dogs.
Since the announcement was made, there have been several reports of dogs with such symptoms, and owners noticing an unpleasant smell on the rawhide. You can see the official recall, as well as which products were affected, by clicking here.
Keep your pets safe, everyone!
The scenario happens all the time: a cutedog out for a walk grabs the attention of a canine-loving passerby. If you have a furry friend yourself, you’re probably very familiar with this encounter. It’s inevitable; people love dogs! We’re not here to change that. But there are a few things to know that will make the exchange easier on both ends…
If you’re the dog-loving passerby:
If you see a dog you absolutely must say hello to, asking permission from the owner is the required first step. No skipping this one! Remember: even if a dog looks friendly, it’s respectful (and wise) to approach the human before approaching the dog. Not only is it good etiquette, but it also sets the tone for the interaction. This article (LINK to Ny mag article) makes a great point: If the dog sees his owner comfortable and relaxed, he’s more likely to be comfortable with you, too.
Another tip we’d add: Sometimes, dogs feel on edge when they’re leashed. Instead of reaching towards them, let them approach you by tapping your thigh and speaking in a friendly, cheerful manner, turning your body slightly to the side. Always let the dog call the shots!
And if you’re the owner:
Look to your furry pal for cues: if she seems relaxed, curious, or initiates the greeting herself, she may up for it. If you have a dog that loves treats, have those on hand for people who want to meet her. Lastly, it’s always okay to politely decline, especially if you have a timid or shy canine. Meeting a stranger can be overwhelming, especially for pups that need time to warm up. Don’t ever feel bad about that!
There’s a reason security questions often ask for your first pet’s name. Everyone will always remember their first pet – not just their name, but how they kept you company while you were sick, and always knew to come to you for treats and table scraps. Not only has it been proven that having a pet improves motor skill development in children, it increases exercise, boosts self-esteem, fosters social interactions and can even help kids excel in school. Here are our top 4 tips for raising kids with furry friends…