Paw's Corner by Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My Labrador-mix, Seeker, has always been a pretty big guy. But lately he’s turned into a very round dog. If I don’t feed him throughout the day, he sits beside his bowl and howls — making it impossible for me to work at my desk. What can I do to calm him down and help him lose weight? — Jim G., Quincy, Massachusetts
DEAR JIM: It’s difficult to help overweight pets lose those extra pounds, and it’s clear that Seeker has no qualms about complaining about it!
Since you’re working from home, one way to mitigate the howling is to implement a divert-and-reward system to take his mind off his empty bowl. In essence, keep Seeker away from the kitchen and as busy as your schedule allows.
immediately after his breakfast, close off the kitchen. Use a baby gate or shut the door, and hide the food bowl out of sight. Take Seeker out-side for a short walk to burn off extra energy and a few calories. If you’re in a high-rise apartment or another situ-ation where going outside frequently is more difficult, opt for a five-minute training and play session instead.
While you’re working, Seeker should be separated from the kitch-en — either in a closed-off room or with you in your office (but in his own corner) — and given plenty of toys to chew on. Spend time with Seeker on each break from work. Play, work on basic obedience, or just hang out. Once you’re finished with work for the day, take Seeker out for a long walk before giving him dinner.
Stick with the diet prescribed by the vet. Be patient but consistent with Seeker to change his behavior. He can and will lose the weight, because you care about him!
Send your tips, comments or questions to email@example.com.
© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
Keeping Pets Safe in the Garden
Keeping Pets Safe in the Garden
(Family Features) If you have pets that enjoy spending time outdoors, it’s important to make sure your yard is a safe place for them to be.
Consider these hazards that can negatively impact the well-being of your furry friends.
Poisonous Plants – Some common plants can be dangerous for animals, causing anything from mild oral irritations and upset stomachs to cardiovascular damage and even death. For example, these are some of the toxic plants the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has identified as harmful for either cats or dogs:
Mulch and Compost – The decomposing elements that make compost good can be bad for pets, according to the National Garden Society. Keep compost in a secure container or fenced off area so pets can’t get to it. Cocoa mulch can be a particular problem for dogs. A byproduct of chocolate production, cocoa mulch can cause digestive problems and even seizures in dogs. Shredded pine or cedar mulch is a safer choice.
Fertilizer and Insecticides – The chemicals used to get rid of pests or make your lawn lush can be toxic to pets. Some of the most dangerous pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, systemic insecticides with disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide and most forms of rat poison, according to the ASPCA. Follow all instructions carefully, and store pesticides and fertilizers in a secure area out of the reach of animals.
Fleas and Ticks – In addition to using appropriate flea and tick prevention methods such as collars and sprays, make sure your yard isn’t a welcoming environment for these pests. Keep the lawn trimmed and remove brush and detritus, where fleas and ticks often lurk. Fleas can cause hair loss, scabs, excessive scratching, tapeworms and anemia. Ticks can do all of that, plus bring you and your family in contact with diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Find more tips for keeping pets safe in your yard at eLivingtoday.com.
3 Steps to Help Pets Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight
(Family Features) Pet parents often show love for their pets with food. However, that extra “love” can lead to weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing other medical conditions.
More than 50% of pets are overweight, but 90% of pet parents with an overweight pet don’t realize it, according to research from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a global leader in science-led nutrition.
To help transform the lives of pets, Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson, stars of Nat Geo Wild’s “Critter Fixers: Country Vets,” are encouraging pet parents to take a proactive approach to maintaining their pet’s weight.
“As veterinarians, we want every pet to live a long and healthy life,” Hodges said. “That's why pet parents should actively monitor their pet’s weight and address it in real time with the guidance of their veterinarian. We are proud to be a part of Hill’s ‘End Pet Obesity’ campaign to help pet parents learn about the impact of even a few extra pounds and equip them with the tools and resources they need to help their pets achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”
Consider these simple steps to get started:
Take the L.O.V.E. Test
To help assess a pet’s weight, use the L.O.V.E. Test, which includes four simple actions:
Locate the pet’s ribs
Observe from above
View from the side
Evaluate feeding behavior
“Sometimes, under all their beautiful fur, it’s hard to realize our pets have gained weight, and even just a few extra pounds can have an impact on their energy and overall wellness,” Ferguson said. “Taking the L.O.V.E test is an easy way to evaluate a pet’s body condition to determine if it’s time to take action.”
Schedule a Visit with a Veterinarian
Pet parents who have concerns about their pet’s weight should seek their veterinarian’s guidance. Conversation starters include:
Is my pet at an ideal weight?
How can I help my pet reach an ideal weight?
How can food help manage my pet’s weight?
Switch to the Right Food
“Obesity is one of the greatest health risks for pets, and what a pet eats is one of the most important decisions a pet parent can make,” Ferguson said. “Whether your pet is a new addition to the family or has just eaten a little too much, now is a great time for pet parents to reset nutritional habits and make sure their pet is at a healthy weight – starting with the food they feed.”
Pet parents should work with their veterinarian to choose the right food to support their pet’s weight loss journey. Weight management products can help pets achieve an ideal weight, including Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight, which has shown to lead to weight loss within 10 weeks in 70% of pets fed this nutritional food. For obese pets, veterinarians may recommend a therapeutic food.
“We have been studying the impact of nutrition on how pets’ bodies function for over a decade,” said Dr. Karen Shenoy, chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition U.S. “We learned lean pets have a different biology than overweight pets. This guided our development of formulas that both help support a pet’s metabolism for a healthy body weight and taste great. With the guidance of a veterinarian, it can be as simple as feeding the right kind of ‘love’ to lose the weight.”
To learn more and access free tools and resources for pet weight management, visit endpetobesity.com.
You never know the importance of learning pet first aid unless you are in a place far away from a vet’s clinic. You are out camping, boating, or hiking — or you happen to live on a farm or ranch, where the nearest pet clinic is miles away. These times can become really crucial, and you may need to do your best to help your sick or hurt pets, at least before proper care arrives or becomes within reach.
One of the most important things that all pet parents need to understand is that prevention is the best medicine. While you cannot monitor your pets 24/7 or prevent accidents from happening to them, you can take steps to reduce the dangers and risks your pet faces every day. The first thing you can do to prevent pet accidents is to become conscious of household items that could cause choking, injuries, sickness, or accidental poisoning to the animals. You also need to have your pet’s first-aid kit stocked and ready, just in case.
Accidents happen, and that is inevitable. But giving importance to the National Pet First Aid Awareness Month and knowing how to handle emergencies can save your pet. Thus, even if you spend most of your time at home with your pet and live near a vet, you should still always prepare for a scenario where you are required to attend to an emergency related to your pet. This small task can be what saves your pet’s life.
5 FACTS ABOUT PET FIRST AID
It reduces your pets’ anxiety
Reducing your pet’s anxiety is crucial to its development, mental, and physical well-being.
Be wary of bones and sticks
Bones can get lodged in or across the roof of a dog’s mouth, so be wary of sticks and bones.
Burns require immediate treatment
Aloe vera is a great first aid that you can use on burns suffered by your pet.
Act immediately on dog bites
If your dog is bitten by another dog, visit a vet clinic immediately and have it checked.
A dark room helps with fits
If your dog has a fit, move hard objects around him and darken the room
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PET FIRST AID AWARENESS MONTH
-Take a pet first aid course
Take a pet first aid course organized in your area. It will be available in your vet clinic, pet shop, and local humane societies.
-Make a pet first aid kit
If you don’t have a pet first aid kit it's time to get one done. Make your pet first aid kit with bandages, scissors, gauze pads, sterile saline wash, gloves, and cotton balls today.
-Share your story
Not many people know how to perform first aid to pets. So, if you have this experience or if you work at a pet clinic, share this information with the world via social media.
Senior Voice America - 813-693-5511
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My next-door neighbor shares a drive-way with me. We get along fine, organizing our cars so no one is blocked in. However, every morn-ing she walks her dog up the side of the driveway and doesn’t pick up after it. I’ve asked her to do so, but she said that since it’s her side of the driveway she has the right to let him poop there. What can I do to solve this? — Stunk Out in Bradenton, Florida
DEAR STUNK: Neighbor disputes over dog droppings are always a bit nerve-wracking, especially when the offending neighbor asserts their right to leave a mess.
Check your neighborhood home-owners association rules to see if this issue is addressed. If you don’t live in an area with an HOA, check out your city or county’s website to find out if there are any restrictions for this sort of behavior, and if it’s possible to file a complaint.
Even though your neighbor is keep-ing the dog on her side of the driveway, it’s shared property. Further, dog poop left lying around, even on the edge of the driveway, is a health hazard. Not to mention how ick it is for anyone who parks on that side and accidentally steps out onto one of those “gifts.”
No matter what, don’t lose your cool. Stay civil toward your neighbor. Keep asking her to pick up after the dog, and note down the date and time of each interaction and each time poop is left behind. Take pictures with your phone as well. If the issue can’t be resolved by politely asking, you’ll need to file a complaint with the HOA or your municipality, and may have to provide evidence (notes and pictures, not the actual poo) to back up your complaint.
Readers, have you dealt with this problem? Tell us about it at ask@ pawscorner.com.
© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.