National Immunization Awareness Month

Just like it is important for us, it is also important for our pets to stay on top of their vaccines and immunizations.

Because these factors may change over time, the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital recommend the vaccination plan for each individual pet be decided at routine annual examinations, following a discussion between you and the veterinarian regarding your canine companion’s lifestyle and travel plans in the year ahead.

 

Why is it so important?

1. It is essential for your pets’ health and help them have a long, happy life. Vaccines can effectively prevent serious canine diseases like distemper, rabies and hepatitis.

2. It is required by law. Different states have different laws governing the administration of some required vaccines. Be sure to check which dog vaccines are required where you live and also states you plan to visit for vacation with your furry family.

3. If you need to board your pet for any reason a vaccination for ‘kennel cough’ or canine infectious disease complex (CIRCD) is essential. Many boarding kennels require the vaccination to be given within 6 months of boarding and at least 10 days prior to boarding for maximum effect.

4. If your pet likes to play outdoors, with other pets, or is a seasoned hiker, it is more likely that they will be exposed to more infectious and potentially fatal diseases. If your pet is vaccinated, its immune system will be prepared to fight these infections.

5. Depending on your geographical location and your pet’s lifestyle, your veterinarian may recommend different vaccinations and the regularity of boosters. Make sure to contact your veterinarian to define which vaccines are important for your pet.

6. It is important to remember that vaccines have saved countless lives. Rabies vaccination, for example, has saved the lives of countless dogs and many humans as well (who could have contracted rabies from dog bites).

Keep safe!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

IS YOUR POOCH PARTIAL TO GRAZING ON GRASS?

WHY IS THAT?

It might be a bit worrying if you’re a first-time dog owner and your new canine companion starts eating grass, especially when they vomit afterwards – BUT rest assured this is a very common behavior.

There are many theories as to why they do it:

1. Boredom – normally seen in puppies or young dogs (but let’s face it they have a habit of chewing everything!)

2. Some sort of deficiency in diet – grass is not eaten for any specific nutritional value (and it doesn’t explain why dogs on well balanced diets eat it too). However, it’s thought that it potentially may provide some additional form of roughage lacking in their normal diet.

3. Remedy for upset stomach – Dogs are not able to digest grass, so many do vomit after eating eat. However, there are plenty of occasions where my canine grass munchers show no other signs of gastric problems before or after eating it. I think they just like the taste – and it seems especially inviting when it has refreshing morning dew on it!

4. Many dogs just love eating and would like to eat more than they are actually fed (even though their body doesn’t need it!) – my old golden was proof positive of that! But apparently, it’s not necessarily the sign of a glutton, just that they like the actual process of eating, so tucking into a lush patch of grass is like having a snack in between their normal meals.

5. Interestingly, studies of wild dogs have also shown them eating grass, so, as far as most experts are concerned, it is inherently natural behavior for domestic dogs.

As wild dogs depend on good hunting skills to survive and feed their families, it’s believed that grass eating may actually help conceal their scent, in the same way rolling in their prey’s excrement or foul offal is thought to.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

1. At the end of the day, dogs are omnivores and have the capability to obtain the nutrients they need from both plant and animal origin.

Grass does not seem to harm dogs BUT you need to be careful if they are eating grass in an area that is sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, which can be toxic to your furry friend. If you think they may have ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA immediately.

 

2. If your pal is constantly eating grass and being sick, then you need to remember that the act of being sick also brings up bile acid from the stomach. This acid can ultimately cause internal ulcers, which are invisible to us. So, if your dog has been doing this for a long time, it may be worth getting your veterinarian to check for existing or developing ulcers.

 

3. If there is excessive vomiting, vomiting not associated with grass eating, or other accompanying symptoms of illness, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of energy – get your best friend checked over by your veterinarian.

 

4. Research shows that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.

a. Veterinarians agree, many dog health issues are caused by processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health. That’s where your furry best friend may benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) to ensure their body is absorbing the nutrients from their food and restore good digestive health and immune system.

b. Also, if you are preparing homemade food, it may be useful to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for the size and breed of your canine companion.

 

5. While grass is not harmful, it may be among other plants that are toxic to dogs, which they then eat it by accident. Check out the ASPCA list at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

 

IMPORTANT

So, in conclusion, if your dog is chewing grass, this is normal doggie behavior. Please just be aware of the potential concerns above and if you think your pal may have ingested poison in the form of a plant or liquid in the process call Animal Poison Control on (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Better to have Loved and Lost than Never to have Known the Love of a Dog

This Sunday, June 11th, is World Pet Memorial Day and it’s true, dogs do leave pawprints on our heart.

Many of you may be like me and have always had pets as part of the family. It is a sad fact of life that we usually outlive them and the pain of losing them is so unbearable, you feel that you couldn’t possibly go through that emotional wrangle again.

I certainly felt like that but, after I allowed myself time to grieve my first canine companion, I realized how many other dogs were waiting for a loving home – one which I could easily (and happily) provide. I also realized that all dogs are unique, with their own little characters, so it was never a case of simply ‘replacing’ my beloved Barney with another dog, it was a means to fill the gap in my heart and bring happiness back into my life, that I have to say, only a dog can!

It’s days like this that also remind us to just stop for a moment and appreciate what we have now, BEFORE it’s lost. So why not spend the day spoiling your pets and making some special new memories with your furry family?

If you love dogs (or any other type of animal for that matter) but are unable to have one of your own at the moment, for whatever reason, then why not just bring a little joy to a ‘forgotten’ animal at your local rescue shelter. This could be either becoming a volunteer dog-walker, giving them a cozy blanket or toy or making a donation in memory of a pet you have loved and lost.

One thing’s for certain the benefit will be mutual…and you may eventually find room for another furry love in your life.

Hope you all have a great Sunday to remember!

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

 

Honoring our Brave Military this Memorial Day – We Salute You!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

Whilst Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, it is also a time to remember the brave men, women and animals that gave their lives for their country, so that we can enjoy the freedom to enjoy this ‘holiday’ with our loved ones.

The American Pit Bull was used by the U.S. military during the Seminole and Civil wars and became the poster dog for the World War I propaganda and recruitment posters, but over the years the breeds enlisted for service became as diverse as the roles they perform.

 

Their super-human eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, make these canine compatriots an invaluable member of any team and they work tirelessly 60 hours a week, with on-call shifts 24/7 –  and all without a paycheck to go towards their retirement or pay for meds to ease the pain of health issues resulting from their intense and physical work demands!

BUT they were not trained to kill, they were trained to save lives, with roles including: transporting medical supplies, search & recue (on land & sea!), sentries, messengers, clearing buildings, explosives detection, tracking, tunnelling, narcotics inspections, customs and border protection and even pulling telephone wires under airfields and mined tunnels – to name just a few!

These courageous canines don’t volunteer, they are simply drafted, yet their loyalty and bravery knows no bounds, and they gladly put their lives on the line to protect their human service buddies.

Of course dogs are ‘man’s best friend’ and more recently they have been an integral part of the recovery process as companions for wounded heroes or those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Many of these special service dogs were originally taken from rescue shelters and trained for active duties all over the world, but it is heart-breaking to think that many of them returned to shelters or euthanized at the end of their useful service.

It seems therefore very fitting that two big problems can become one mutual magical solution – Help every American hero and save every shelter or rescue animal from euthanasia.

 

Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion animals obtained from shelters and/or rescues, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, and first-responders recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country.

This amazing non-profit organization recognizes the incredible power of the human-animal relationship and seeks to support those suffering from psychological stress as they pursue recovery with the unconditional love of a pet. You can learn more about them at: www.companionsforheroes.org

Also, sadly even today, a service dog often finds that their handler is simply unable to take their service buddy home with them, once they retire from active duty.  We can only imagine the desolation and confusion those loyal dogs suffer, being separated from their devoted handlers.

The good news is that many of these special animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. So, if you think you could provide a happy retirement home for one of these loyal 4-legged patriots, you can learn more about it here:

https://petsforpatriots.org/about-military-working-dog-adoptions/

All of our country’s heroes and veterans served for us and deserve to be remembered by us, so just spare a thought this Memorial Day.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health and keep each other safe!

 

 

 

About the Author:

Helen Broadley

Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions.

FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.

The team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.

You can find out more about FidoActive on their website www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally

Active is what we want every dog to be!

 

 

Make Sure Your Dog’s Bark is worse than their Bite!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

 

Every year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the country; one in five require medical attention and sadly more than half the victims of dog bites are children. The most alarming fact is that bites are often from dogs they are familiar with, or have even known and loved for years as part of the family. This just emphasizes the need to increase awareness and ensure we educate our children, friends and family to make them smart and safe around our canine companions.

Some bites are simply tragic accidents but the majority are normally a consequence of a particular situation, circumstance or environment and therefore can be avoided if we learn to understand our dogs better.

As responsible dog owners, we need to ensure our dogs are well socialized with both people (and other dogs) through positive, force-free education.

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend and not many dog lovers can resist petting a pooch BUT there are certain times where this is NOT a good idea:

  • If they are chewing a bone or eating
  • When they are playing with a toy – do not try to try to take it away from them
  • When they are sleeping.
  • If they are ill, injured or in pain
  • Do not try to touch the puppies of a dog, if she is resting with them or is anxious about your presence.
  • Avoid petting the dog when he is barking or growling
  • If the dog is not with his owner or chained / tethered
  • Even if the dog is with the owner, ALWAYS ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog
  • Sudden loud noises may surprise or frighten them and may trigger an automatic defensive aggression
  • Don’t reach through a fence or gate, over a wall or into a vehicle to pet a dog – they often see this as territory that it is their job to protect for their human family
  • Don’t pet ‘Service Dogs’ – they are special working animals and shouldn’t be distracted from their important jobs
  • Like us humans, dogs often need some ‘alone’ time, so if they seem to be trying to hide or seeking a quiet place, give them some space
  • If a dog is barking excessively, growling, baring their teeth, fixated gaze with whites of eyes showing, then these are all signs that the dog is not comfortable and common ‘warning’ signs preceding a bite, so it’s important to look, listen and understand what a dog is telling you

 

I know these precautions may all sound like simple common sense and they are, but I guess it’s often easy for us to be tempted by a four-legged fur ball or soulful face and not be aware that we may be unwittingly putting ourselves, others and the dog in danger.

Last, but not least, please remember that dog bites are NOT breed specific, they are behavior specific, so it’s vital to be observant to keep everyone safe and happy.

 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team