What’s Happening in June?

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June is a busy month! See what’s going on in the month for pets and animals.

ADOPT-A-SHELTER CAT MONTH

young-calico-catAre you considering adding a new member to the family? June marks the height of kitten season with feline breeding at its highest. Many shelters receive an influx of homeless cats and kittens.

Getting a kitten or cat can be a great addition to your home and adopting a shelter cat can be extremely rewarding, but have you thought about everything getting a new pet will entail? Check out our fact sheet on Things to Consider Before Getting a Cat.

Pets also require regular preventive care to ensure that pets are kept happy and healthy before something goes wrong. You can download our Importance of Preventive Care fact sheet here.

Want to help a shelter cat but not ready to adopt? PetFinder.com has a great list of ways you can help. Their website also allows you to locate shelters and adoptable pets in your area.


 

TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY

dog using computerWoof! June 24 is Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Animals are a known stress reliever and what could be more fun than taking Fido to work with you?

If you are planning to participate in this year’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® event, are trying to convince your boss to let your company participate or if you are just interested in learning more about this unique celebration, you’ll want to download PSI’s free 2016 Take Your Dog To Work Day® Toolkit.

If you are participating in this doggone fun day, be sure to snap a photo of your dog at work and enter PSI’s 2016 Take Your Dog To Work Day® Photo Contest!


PET PREPAREDNESS MONTH

Boxer_in_bookbagNothing goes better together than kids and dogs but unfortunately, kids are also more likely to get bitten. Often it’s just a matter of not understanding how to interact safely with a dog, especially one that isn’t yours. We have to be able to read body language and understand nuances that tell us what the dog might be thinking. With a few tips, you can play and interact with dogs safely.

Doggone Safe
This site is dedicated to dog bite prevention with categories for pet
owners, bite victims, seasonal tips, and a section for kids with activities.

Also download our PVMA fact sheet on Dog Bite Prevention.


NATIONAL DAIRY MONTH

Black_and_white_cowFor more than 75 years, we have celebrated dairy and all of its goodness during June. What started out as National Milk Month in 1937 to promote milk consumption and stabilize the dairy demand has turned into a month-long celebration and tradition that acknowledges the dairy industry’s contributions to the United States and around the world.

Pennsylvania is ranked fifth in total milk production nationally, with the commonwealth’s 530,000 cows producing more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually. The state’s annual milk production per cow is just over 20,000 pounds – or about 2,352 gallons – per cow. The state has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally, having more dairy farms than every other state except Wisconsin.

Visit the Center for Dairy Excellence’s website for more facts.

It’s National Pet Week!

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We all love our pets, so what better way to celebrate them than now during National Pet Week! Maybe treat them to extra belly rubs, an extra walk or an extra snack – but here in Pennsylvania, there’s another way too.

Years ago, PVMA created our pet photo contest in honor of National Pet Week. Any child in Pennsylvania in grades K-12 can participate. Here’s how it works:

“A MOMENT IN TIME: LOVING AND CARING FOR OUR PETS”

Children can submit a photo which demonstrates the theme “A Moment in Time: Loving and Caring For Our Pets,” and they could win a $50 prize.

  • Photos must be digital, and should be submitted via email to Lori Raver at lraver@pavma.org.
  • Photos should be solely the work of the student
  • Email submissions should include the student’s name, address, phone number, school, and grade.
  • Deadline to submit a photo is May 31, 2016.

PVMA will provide a $50 cash award and a plaque for the first place winner in each grade.

SHOW YOUR FRIENDS WITH OUR ONLINE GALLERY!

Each entry to the PVMA Photo Contest will be added to our online gallery prior to judging in June so you can share with your friends! Submit a photo now!

PVF launches Henry’s Helping Paws Fund

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Margo and Senator Andy Dinniman with Henry

 

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation – our charitable arm – recently launched a fun new initiative. Launched only in Chester County, PA, near Philadelphia, Henry’s Helping Paws Fund was created to honor Henry, a standard poodle who belonged to state Senator Andy Dinniman and his wife, Margo. Henry was a well-known character who attended many social and political events with Senator Dinniman and was well-loved by the public. Henry passed away in 2014.

In honor of Henry, Senator Dinniman wanted to begin a charity to help seniors with pets who do not have access to pet food. After partnering with Meals on Wheels of Chester County and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, this food delivery program became a reality on March 17, 2016. Our first delivery was made to Mr. Harvey Phillips of Chester County. Mr. Phillips is 83, homebound, and a Korean War veteran. He spends his days teaching tricks to his dog, Inky, and cat, Samuel. Without a driver’s license and with little family, Henry’s Helping Paws Fund is a perfect fit to make sure Inky and Samuel get the food they need.

HarveyPhillips_and_Inky3While currently only operating in Chester County as a pilot project, the hope is to expand county by county throughout Pennsylvania to help seniors and their pets who need a helping paw to eat.

To learn more about Henry’s Helping Paws fund and to donate, click here.

Keep your felines safe during Cat Health Month

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CatHealthFebruary is Cat Health Month. Use these resources from PVMA to keep America’s number 1 pet happy and healthy all year long.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Cat fact sheet
Think you’re ready to get a cat? Use this fact sheet to see if you’ve considered all the factors.

Feline Lifestyle Assessment
Having a complete picture of your cat or kitten’s life can help your veterinarian provide better treatment and recommendations for your cat.

Feline-ality Cat Personality Matching
Use this tool from the ASPCA to assess your preferences and expectations when thinking of adopting a new cat.

Bringing Home a New Kitten
A new kitten can be exciting. Start life with your new friend off on the right foot with proper veterinary care, nutrition, and socialization.

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The Importance of Preventive Care
Think your pet only needs to see the veterinarian when something’s wrong? Learn how regular visits can prevent illness instead.

Traveling and Moving With Your Cat
Traveling with cats is legendary – for all the wrong reasons. Learn how to make is less stressful and safe.

Cats and Lilies fact sheet
In addition to other plants, lilies are particularly poisonous to cats. Learn how to prevent accidental ingestion and what to do if it happens.

Spaying and Neutering
Did you know? Spaying and neutering prevents pet overpopulation while also keeping your cat healthy. ​

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

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dog playing with the kongShow off those pearly whites! February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Think pet dental health isn’t important? Think again. Doggy breath could actually be something much more serious. Periodontal disease in our pets is the most common health problem that veterinarians see, yet many pet owners are still in the dark about preventing it or treating it.

Don’t think that because your pet isn’t showing signs of oral discomfort that everything is fine. Untreated oral disease can be dangerous to your pet’s health and much more expensive to correct down the road than paying for preventive measures now. Brushing your pet’s teeth may sound silly, but it’s the best way to keep their mouth clean.

Untreated oral disease can lead to infection that can spread to your pet’s heart, lungs, and kidneys. Only your veterinarian can tell you if your pet’s mouth needs a professional cleaning, but if not, there are simple ways you can keep those pearly whites clean at home.
Know What to Look For
Examine your pet’s mouth regularly for warning signs which can include:

  • brown colored teeth
  • swollen, red, or bleeding gums
  • continued bad breath
  • broken and/or loose teeth; pus near the gum line
  • any unusual growths
  • Non-visual signs can include reluctance to chew or eat, reluctance to drink cold water, and avoidance of chew toys or playing

If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian. Click here to download our complete Pet Dental Health fact sheet to keep on hand at home.

Make sure the holidays are great for pets and people with our easy holiday safety tips

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Everyone loves the holidays, but the last thing you want is Santa robbed of his cookies and milk, a ruined dinner, a vandalized Christmas tree or nibbled plants that can result in an untimely trip to the emergency veterinarian. Here are 7 things you can do to make the holidays safer for your pet – and more relaxed for you!

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  • Keep people food out of the reach of your pet and ask your guests to do the same
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t have any access to treats, especially those containing chocolate, xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions or other toxic foods
  • Don’t leave your pet alone in the room with lit candles, a decorated tree or potpourri
  • Keep holiday plants (especially holly, mistletoe and lilies) out of reach of pets
  • Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat
  • Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it; hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing it
  • If your pet is excitable or scared when you have company, consider putting your pet in another room with some of his/her toys, a comfortable bed, etc. or providing a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement (such as a kennel, crate, perching place, scratching post shelf or hiding place)

Click here to download a printable version of our fact sheet for easy reference.

Happy holidays!

It’s Senior Pet Month!

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Senior woman and dog

Think only puppies or kittens make a good adoption? Think again!

Senior pets need love, too, and they can make a great addition to your family. Generally speaking, older pets come house trained, understanding at least basic commands, and ready for a cuddle.

Thinking of adopting a more mature pet? Here are some tips.

Is my pet a senior?
Generally speaking, most cats and dogs are considered to be seniors around age 7, although large breed dogs may experience age-related health issues earlier than that.

Health issues common in senior pets
As they age, pets may develop some of the same health concerns seen in aging humans, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Thyroid issues
  • Behavior changes (senility)

Semi-annual veterinary care is recommended
A veterinary exam twice per year along with lab work will enable your veterinarian to diagnose and treat disease as early as possible in order to maintain your pet’s quality of life. Your veterinarian can recommend the appropriate diet for your senior pet’s nutritional needs as well as discuss behavior and mobility issues.

What to watch for in senior pets
Your senior pet should be seen by its veterinarian if it shows any of these symptoms:

  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Urination issues, such as accidents in the house
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in grooming habits or behavior, such as disorientation
  • New “lumps or bumps” that persist or grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Lameness or stiffness

Want help searching for a pet near you? Start with the ASPCA website that can help you find a shelter near you.