Dog Ownership: A Lifetime of Love, a Lifetime of Loving Responsibility

iStock_000019599571_MediumAs pet guardians, one of the hardest things to witness is the irresponsibility of some pet owners who allow their dogs to run loose, stay chained in the yard, or remain un-spayed or un-neutered. Yet, we may be neglecting more subtle but important pet health responsibilities as well.

It’s often easier than it should be to put our pooch’s annual wellness exams on the backburner, especially with the start of the school and holiday seasons on our minds (and wallets). Likewise, few entertain the thought that their dogs will need additional attention over the years, such as in the areas of training and socialization and seasonal parasite protection.

Assuming you’ve given a wonderful pup a forever home and have considered the roughly 8-18+ year commitment (depending on breed), what are some of the most important aspects of dog ownership that should be addressed? And, what are some of the expenses a mindful canine guardian can expect to plan for during the course of a dog’s life? Continue…

Breast Cancer and Your Pet

pink breast cancer awareness ribbonAre you aware that dogs and cats can get breast cancer just like people?

While many are surprised to learn that mammary cancer affects our pets, it’s actually a very common problem. In fact, breast cancer is more commonly found in pets than in people. Statistically, one in four intact (not spayed) female dogs will develop a mammary tumor, and it is the third most common cancer for cats.

Approximately 50% of mammary tumors in dogs and about 90% of mammary tumors in cats fall into the malignant category. Malignant tumors are what we think of as the “bad” kind of tumor. Malignant tumors are invasive and may spread to other organs, and are usually very aggressive.

No pet owner wants their beloved pet to experience this disease. Learn what you need to know about breast cancer and your pet so that you can help your pet stay healthy. Continue…

Not Even Once: The Confession of a Would-Be Crazy Cat Lady

Woman Holding 4 KittensLike many of my generation, I grew up with the echoes of Bob Barker’s refrain echoing in my mind: “Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered.” Unfortunately, there was an experience in my childhood that trumped that wisdom nugget. And that was the sheer joy of being a four-year-old and experiencing a litter of freshly born kittens.

It was that idyllic experience tucked away in the back of my mind that led me to override Mr. Barker’s plea, and allow my son that experience for himself.

You see, we adopted a kitty from a friend. It’s likely she was at the prime age to be spayed… I still had some time before her first heat, but not much. I deliberated. Really, I did. And in the end, I decided that one litter couldn’t hurt. Right?

Wrong. Continue…