While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition. Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense.
(BPT) - If you own a pet, you're in good company. In fact, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association. Pets provide unconditional love and countless memories, and in return they look to their humans to care for them as best as possible.
While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition.
Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense. Few people are aware that by asking your veterinarian two simple questions, you could lower your costs considerably:
Using your local pharmacy for pet prescriptions
Many pet parents don't know that most of the medications their pets use are the same ones people use, potentially at the same or a different dosage. That means that many of the pharmacies you visit for your needs can also be used for your pets' prescriptions. The top five conditions pets share with people are diabetes, asthma, infections, anxiety and depression.
What's more, filling your pets' prescriptions at a retail pharmacy is often less expensive than getting it filled through the vet, plus it saves time because you can get all your family's prescriptions at once, including your furry family members.
How to get pet prescription discounts
To save even more on your pets' prescriptions, consider using a pharmacy savings card, like the Inside Rx Pets savings card offered by Inside Rx. This free prescription savings card helps reduce costs up to 75% on pet medications when purchased at a local pharmacy or when ordered for home delivery.
The card can be downloaded and presented at one of the 50,000 participating pharmacies located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These include national chains such as Kroger Family of Pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens. Learn more at insiderx.com/pets.
Always follow prescription directions
Remember, it's important to follow your veterinarian's recommendations for the prescription and dosage and not try to manage your pet's condition on your own. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers you buy for yourself with your pet as experts note this can be dangerous.
"Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give any medication to your pet," the American Veterinary Medical Association states.
To keep prescription drug costs manageable for pets, ask these two simple questions and explore savings options at your local pharmacy. Laws vary by state, but over 40 states require veterinarians to write a prescription if asked, so it's worthwhile to inquire. You'll help your pets feel their best while helping ease your budget as well.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
According to Purdue University, interacting with animals in different environments, including hospitals, could improve our physical and mental health, as well as enhance aspects of our daily lives. Here are a few things to know about in-residence dogs and their positive impact on pediatric patients.
(BPT) - For pediatric patients, being in the hospital can be a frightening, vulnerable and lonely experience, especially for those undergoing serious medical treatments. However, research has shown that dogs, with their playful, comforting and loving nature, can have beneficial, long-lasting effects on pediatric patients.
According to Purdue University, interacting with animals in different environments, including hospitals, could improve our physical and mental health, as well as enhance aspects of our daily lives.
Here are a few things to know about in-residence dogs and their positive impact on pediatric patients:
1) In-residence dogs are highly trained service dogs that work in healthcare settings and perform specialized tasks. They are also trained to create an emotional connection with pediatric patients, helping to provide them with joy, comfort and other medical benefits.
2) Different from volunteer dogs that visit a hospital for a short time, in-residence dogs have a similar work schedule as their human counterparts, working closely with their handlers. They often have access to non-sterile clinics and inpatient units.
3) In-residence dogs can be an integral part of a child’s treatment team. They perform a range of tasks that help medical teams achieve their clinical goals. In-residence dogs can be trained to do incredible things like keep kids calm during medical interventions, teach them how to take a pill or model how to put on a hospital gown.
4) In-residence dogs can help lower a pediatric patient’s stress and anxiety by serving as a pleasant distraction. Hospital staff report that children who interact with in-residence dogs often require less medication.
While in-residence dog programs have potential, they are relatively new. Out of more than 220 children’s hospitals in the U.S., only a few have in-residence dog programs. By implementing such programs, hospitals could give more pediatric patients the opportunity to experience the joy and health benefits that come with in-residence dogs.
Dr. Jana Stockwell, a pediatric critical care physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, serves as a handler for an in-residence dog named Tidings. “Our Children’s dogs are full-time employees with a meaningful job to do, and on a daily basis, Tidings helps children be more engaged, encourages them to get out of bed, and even inspires them to tell us about a pet at home that they’re missing," she said. "Our in-residence dogs never fail to lift the spirits of kids and adults alike.”
Foundation brings dogs to hospitals
To fill this unmet need and further its mission to bring joy to kids battling illness or hunger, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, the independent charitable foundation of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, has launched “Dogs for Joy,” a program to bring in-residence dogs to children’s hospitals nationwide.
Dogs in this program are bred and trained as service dogs but “work” full-time in children’s hospitals. Through more than $2 million in initial grants, the program will increase the number of in-residence dog programs in pediatric healthcare settings around the country and the prevalence of animal-assisted therapy as part of treatment.
The Joy in Childhood Foundation invites children’s hospitals nationwide to apply for a Dogs for Joy grant if they’re interested in launching a new in-residence dog program or expanding an existing program. Funds awarded cover costs for launching and maintaining an in-residence dog program at a hospital, including adoption of the dog, training of select staff, dog food, dog grooming needs, dog toys and more. Applicants can apply via www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/dogsforjoy.
Wild rabbits have a big appetite and your garden and landscape is like a tempting, bottomless salad bar. And where there's one, there's more: The gestation period for a rabbit averages just 30 days. There’s factual truth behind that old saying, “multiplying like rabbits”! You may enjoy bunnies in storybooks or even as domesticated pets, but wild rabbits can be a devastating problem for your yard. These four-legged foragers can eat your fabulous flowers and prized produce, literally overnight.
(BPT) - You may never see them. They sneak in silently once the sun goes down. They ravage your delicate garden and stunning landscape. If you do happen to catch a glimpse, they'll run fast as lightning to safety so they can dine in your yard while you’re not around.
No, this isn't a plot from some cinematic thriller; it's a daily occurrence for homeowners with outdoor space. Rabbits can quickly take a toll on any size yard, and can easily climb into raised beds and nibble away at your painstakingly planted container creations.
Wild rabbits have a big appetite and your garden and landscape is like a tempting, bottomless salad bar. And where there's one, there's more: The gestation period for a rabbit averages just 30 days. There’s factual truth behind that old saying, “multiplying like rabbits”!
You may enjoy bunnies in storybooks or even as domesticated pets, but wild rabbits can be a devastating problem for your yard. These four-legged foragers can eat your fabulous flowers and prized produce, literally overnight.
To protect your yard from rabbits, you first need to identify their presence. Because they often come out at dawn and sunset, you may rarely see them. According to the animal repellent experts at Bobbex, these are the top signs that you’ve got rabbits:
1. Plant damage low to the ground, often a few inches above the soil
2. A clean, 45-degree angled cut on the end of stems and leaves
3. Woody plants debarked up to 16 inches from the ground
4. Piles of rabbit droppings (dark pea-sized pellets)
5. Tracks: Wild rabbits have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their much longer hind feet.
Check, check, and re-check. If you do catch a glimpse of the furry intruder, you may be able to identify the most common wild rabbit species. Cottontails are common throughout North America, identified by their short tail that resembles a tuft of cotton. Snowshoes are typically found in rocky, mountainous terrain and are identified by their large feet with white fur during winter and rusty brown fur during warmer months. Finally, the speedy jackrabbit is found in the Western U.S. and is known for its incredibly long ears and powerful hind legs.
Once you know you have rabbits ravaging your yard, it's time to take action. There are a few ways to safely repel them before the damage is done.
Step 1: Build and bury barriers
Fencing can be an effective way to keep rabbits at bay. If you're targeting rabbits, the fence only needs to be 3 feet tall as they are unlikely to jump over it. However, you’ll have to bury the fence underground since rabbits are experts at burrowing up to a foot below the surface to access a tasty food source.
Step 2: Repel and remove temptation
Bobbex-R Repellent is all natural, environmentally friendly and proven effective at protecting ornamental plantings from small, four-legged garden critters such as rabbits. Usable in any weather, it won't burn plants or wash off. Use it as a bulb dip to deter underground damage or spray it at the mouth of burrows to prevent animals from re-entering. It’s safe for humans, pets, birds and aquatic life.
Step 3: Remove the creature's comforts
Many homeowners are surprised to find rabbits have made a home under stairs or in a shed. If you don't want rabbits nesting and raising families in your yard, remove brush and other debris that could provide them easy shelter and spray a repellent in those areas to maintain rabbit-free hiding places.
These three simple steps will help you safely repel rabbits so you can fully enjoy the beauty and bounty of your outdoor space.
To learn more, visit www.bobbex.com where you’ll also find repellents for other common wild foragers such as deer. Try Bobbex Deer, compared to nine other repellents in category, it was rated 93 percent effective, second only to a fence at 100 percent.
Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips.
(BPT) - Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine
Animals love routine. It’s important for dogs to establish a mealtime routine whether they get fed first thing in the morning, after their walk or as small meals throughout the day. By establishing a routine, your pooch will quickly catch on when it’s mealtime.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy
Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want them to make a game out of their meal? Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime. They allow them to slow down to truly enjoy their food, making mealtime fun! Head to your local retailer to choose the correct bowl or toy for your dog.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety
Dogs and humans alike enjoy food with variety! That's why for nearly three decades, Kibbles ‘n Bits(R) has been making dog food with its signature combination of crunchy kibble & tender bits to bring joy to your dog’s every bite. With varieties including Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food and Steak & Cheese Flavored dry dog food, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your furry friend.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party
Have you ever danced due to excitement? Well, now your dog will, too. Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat. This new bonding ritual will create more fun for all family members and will have your dog busting moves in anticipation in no time!
5. Make it a training opportunity
Use mealtime as an opportunity to train and reinforce wanted behaviors. Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more about Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and what variety is right for your dog, visit https://www.kibblesnbits.com.
(BPT) - Having a pet may seem like the beginning of a never-ending mess, but the key to living with furry friends is preparation. Whether combating odor, keeping surfaces free of dirt and fur or removing pesky stains, taking preventative measures and using the right products can turn any mess into a simple task.
Stop dirt at the door
The weather can’t be controlled, but it is possible to keep dirt and debris outside. Keep pet wipes at the door to clean paws and stop mud in its tracks. Look for an all-natural product that will not only capture dirt, but moisturize paw pads and fur at the same time. Thinking ahead and stopping pets from bringing in dirt creates fewer cleanups.
Capture fur from furniture
Pets love sitting on the sofa — and leaving hair behind. To keep furniture fur-free, use the Electrolux Ergorapido PetCare cordless 2-in-1 stick and handheld vacuum. This new tool has an innovative upholstery nozzle, making it easy to keep furniture looking fashionable, not furry.
Fight odors easily
Beyond furniture, fur finds its way to floors and every other surface of the home. Every pet owner knows that frequent vacuuming is a must. To optimize vacuum performance, vacuum bags should be replaced every month or two, and filters should be replaced every three to six months. Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh bags and filters help capture pet dander and allergens, while safely and naturally neutralizing offensive smells.
Keep clothes clean
Clearing furniture and floors of pet hair is a start, but clothes also attract fur that can stick with pet owners long after leaving the house. Homeowners should keep lint rollers by the door to quickly remove pet fur from clothing on their way out the door. Guests also will appreciate the opportunity to remove pet fur that may have accumulated during their visit.
Protect valuable home items and woodwork from tooth and claw marks by taking preventative measures to deter animals. Furniture-safe products like bitter-tasting sprays will not only stop pets in the act, but also keep them away from areas where they aren’t allowed. If pets do leave marks on woodwork, look for nontoxic wood fillers to mend scratches and gashes.
Say goodbye to unsightly carpet stains and lingering odors by opting for strong, pet-friendly products that will leave homes looking like new. Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet Cleaner neutralizes pet odors and breaks down stains. Arm & Hammer Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner has baking soda and powerful stain fighters and is safe for use in all deep-cleaning machines.
By taking preventative measures and using pet-safe products, humans and their four-legged companions can be perfect cohabitants.
Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh products are available at Walmart and Walmart.com.
(BPT) - The holidays are upon us, and so is the chillier weather. As you bundle up and get cozy with your cocoa, Dr. Jeff Werber, Emmy award-winning celebrity veterinarian, has some tips and tricks on how to ensure your pet has a healthy and happy holiday season.
Baby, it’s cold outside:
Keeping warm is easy for us pet parents, as we can layer up and put on an extra sweater or coat. While battling colder winter temperatures, don’t forget your four-legged family members! It is true that most dogs, and a lot of cats, can adequately thermoregulate in most temperatures, but smaller pets may need some help. Little doggie sweaters or coats, like the Wouapy Outdoor or Bubble Coat, are great solutions for the smaller breeds to keep them warm but still mobile while outside.
Freezing temperatures are not the only winter problem. Many cities and municipalities pour salt on sidewalks and streets to help melt snow and minimize the inherent slippery surfaces. This salt can be very irritating to the feet of our beloved dogs and cats, so clean their paws after each walk to remove any residue, or, better yet, try some booties to provide necessary protection.
‘Tis the season to party and celebrate by spending quality time with friends and family. This is great for you and your crew, but what about your four-legged kids? After all, they, too, are part of the family and you certainly don’t want to exclude them from the festivities. The fact is, if you’re not careful and don’t plan ahead, they may in fact ruin some of those good times!
This time of year brings a revolving door of guests and the sound of the doorbell constantly ringing. As exciting as it may be to see long-distance relatives, this can bring some unexpected stress on your pets. Whether you are hosting or traveling to the next get-together, consider outfitting your dog with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System, a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes common anxieties to help naturally combat the stress of traveling, loud noises and strangers.
In addition, provide pets with a comfortable space where they can retreat if they are feeling stressed. Dogs are naturally denning animals, so kennels like the Ultra Vari Kennel are great options for them to retreat to a safe haven while still being part of the festivities.
Keep them happy, keep them occupied
Decking the halls can be a disaster with curious pets wanting to play with the newly placed ornaments on that “big green climbable thing” in the corner. What’s more, these decorations can be extremely dangerous for your pet. Cats love to bat at sparkling tinsel and carry it in their mouths. Not only does this lead to a big mess, but it can also obstruct their digestive tract if ingested. Distract your playful kitty with a fun toy like the Jackson Galaxy Butterfly Ball, to mentally stimulate your pet and tap into their natural instincts to observe and track prey, rather than taking interest in a fallen glass ornament. In addition, avoid chewing hazards by giving your dog an interactive treat toy like the JW Ho-lee Gourmet, which will encourage them to play with their food rather than a wire from decorative lights.
Don’t forget to give them plenty of exercise! It may be too cold to play fetch outside, but it’s still important to keep them active. Providing regular exercise, especially in winter, helps prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. Going on a brisk walk with the K9 Control Retractable Leash, the only retractable leash designed to retract in lock or stop position, is a great way to bond with and mentally stimulate your dog while getting them up and moving.
Lastly, even with the best planning and most conscientious care, accidents do happen. Make sure you keep your veterinarian’s number handy as well as your local 24-hour emergency facility just in case.
(BPT) - With good weather and flexible work schedules, summer time is the best season for spending some extra time with your pet. However, once fall comes, the kids aren’t the only ones in the family that experience the back-to-school blues. Separation anxiety can happen for many reasons among pets, but with the changing routine and lack of attention due to busy schedules, back-to-school is a common time when pet owners may start noticing changes in their dog or cat’s behavior. To support them during this time Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina’s Chief Veterinary Officer offers five tips to address separation anxiety in pets.
1. Get your pet into a routine. Pets love routines because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, kids are always around to make things entertaining and exciting. When they suddenly disappear, some cats and dogs will feel sad and confused while others may experience real separation anxiety. It’s important to get your pet acclimated to the change by replacing their old schedule with a new one. This new schedule should include allocating time to play after work and keeping a consistent schedule when coming and going from the house.
2. Burn off some energy. Some pets deal with separation anxiety by engaging in negative or destructive behaviors, such as howling, excessive barking or chewing on inappropriate objects. A great way to keep your dog from doing this is to take them on a walk in the morning before you leave the house to help burn off some of that extra energy. For cats, consider playing with them at night as well — whether it’s making them chase a feather wand or play with a ball.
3. Create an interactive environment. Back-to-school season is a great time to buy your pet a new, interactive toy to play with. This will help mentally stimulate them and keep them occupied during the day when children are away at school. For dogs, chew toys are a way for them to relieve their anxiety, frustration and boredom. For cats, creating a play area — including scratching posts and cat furniture — can keep them entertained even when you’re not home.
4. Turn up the tunes and start with baby steps. Try leaving some soothing music on at your home while everyone is out of the house. The music will help drown out distracting noises that your dog may mistakenly associate with their family coming home. Some animal shelters have even found that playing calming music helps animals in their facilities relax. Additionally, help your pets adjust to a new routine by providing them with clear cues. For example, jingling your car keys prior to leaving for work each day can provide your pet with an important audible cue and ultimately, help with the transition to a new family schedule.
5. Spend time with your pet. It’s important to remember that while you may have had a long day, your pet may have been sitting at home feeling lonely, waiting for you to come home. Spending some quality time with your pet at the end of the day is critical to helping keep them active and mentally sharp. It may be tough to fit into a busy work schedule, but be sure to build some interactive time — whether it’s a walk or cuddle session —to benefit both you and your pet.
For more information on helping your pet deal with separation anxiety, check out this article on Purina.com.
(BPT) - It seems like just yesterday you brought her home and made her a part of the family. If you own a cat or dog, you have fond memories of your furry family member from day one.
Fast forward to today. Just like with people, age sometimes creeps up slowly on pets. Every pet is unique, so changes happen at different times. What's more, age-related changes can be easy to miss because they appear so gradually over time.
Being aware and proactive is the best thing pet parents can do to help their pets stay healthy as they age. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that pets have a senior screening at about age 7. This allows the veterinarian to address any current concerns or potential health risks, including nutritional considerations.
Aging in pets can potentially impact the relationship you have with them, so being aware of the signs and what to do can help keep your older pet in the game. To help you understand what to look for, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has developed the "Tell TAILS" signs of aging in cats and dogs.
T = Thinking
Your pet gets confused by ordinary things, like how to find their bed.
A = Activity
Your pet is less active. Naps are now more appealing than playing or exploring.
I = Interactions
Your pet doesn't socialize with you as much as before.
L = Loss of control
Your pet is well-trained, but has started to have accidents.
S = Sleep-wake cycle
Sleeping patterns have changed, with more awake time during the night.
You’re the one who spends the most time with your pet, so it's important to note any of these changes and communicate them to your veterinarian. Consistent vet visits and changing your pet’s food are just two things that can help older pets to continue to remain healthy in their later years.
“As pets grow older, aging occurs inside every cell in their body and Hill’s studies these changes down to the gene level,” says Kathy Gross, Director of Clinical Nutrition at Hill’s Science Diet. “Our research shows that gene expression and activity are different in pets aged 7 and older compared to their younger counterparts. Through this research we’ve identified natural ingredients and nutrients that change gene activity and used that knowledge to create pet foods for pets of this age."
When selecting food, consider key nutrients important for pets aged 7 and older. A high-quality food like Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality, developed from over a decade of extensive research, includes:
* High-quality protein with balanced levels of essential amino acids to support muscles.
* L-carnitine to help the body convert nutrients into energy to move, run and play.
* Right balance of phosphorus and sodium, not too much and not too little, helps maintain a healthy bladder, kidneys and heart.
* Antioxidant vitamins E and C along with beta-carotene and selenium to protect cells and support healthy immune function.
In addition to making nutritional adjustments, consider these smart tips for helping your pet get the most out of life and unlock their ageless spirit:
1. Providing regular exercise and opportunities to interact with family members helps keep older pets in shape and their minds actively engaged.
2. Just as with people, maintain a healthy body weight and body proportion (more muscle, strong bones, less body fat) by avoiding overfeeding, doing regular weigh-ins and avoiding unhealthy snacks.
4. Regular veterinary checkups (once per year for middle-aged pets and twice per year for senior pets over the age of 7) are recommended so any concerns or potential health risks can be addressed.
For more information about pet health for cats and dogs, visit www.HillsPet.com. For more information about pet aging and the cutting-edge food science in Science Diet Youthful Vitality, visit www.ScienceDiet.com/YouthfulVitality.
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