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Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, marks February as Pet Dental Health Month by reminding pet parents about the importance of regular dental care for their four-legged family members. In 2014, VPI policyholders spent more than $12.2 million on dental conditions and procedures, the fourth most common type of claim submitted to the company last year and an eight percent increase from the previous year.

Toothbrush:Paste

Preventive oral care is not only necessary for pets, it’s a financially sound choice for pet owners. In 2014, the average claim amount for pet teeth cleaning was $171. In contrast, the average claim amount for treating dental-related disease was $212. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by residual food, bacteria and tartar that collect in the spaces between the gum and tooth, accounted for the most dental claims received by VPI last year— more than 26,800. Tooth infections, inclusive of cavities and abscesses, accounted for the second most common dental-related claims, totaling more than 14,200. Infections of the teeth are typically the result of untreated tooth decay, cracked or fractured teeth, or severe periodontal disease.

Poor dental care can also be linked to severe health issues and shorter lifespans in dogs and cats. The bacteria associated with tartar buildup and periodontal disease can contribute to heart, liver and kidney problems.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), an organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three. VPI encourages pet parents to have their pets’ oral health evaluated bi-annually by a veterinarian.

“Regular veterinary examinations are critical because they include an oral health and dental evaluation, just like when we go to the dentist,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “To help off-set the costs of preventive oral care, VPI offer’s Everyday Care plans that help cover procedures like dental cleaning.  Your veterinarian may also recommend brushing your pets’ teeth between veterinary visits, with the goal of preventing a buildup of tartar along your pets’ gum line. Tartar can lead to inflammation or pain when the gums or mouth are touched, even during the simple process of eating.”

The AVMA’s list of signs that dental disease has already started in a dog or cat includes:

  • Red swollen gums or brownish-yellow tartar on teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth
  • Reluctance to eat – for example, picking it up and then spitting it out

Pet Dental Health Fast Facts:

Dogs

  • Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 3 to 4 weeks of age
  • They have 42 permanent teeth that generally grow in between 5 to 7 months of age
  • Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue among dogs

Cats

  • Kittens have 26 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 2 to 3 weeks of age
  • They have 30 permanent teeth that generally grow in by 5 to 6 months of age
  • Other dental issues that are common in cats include tooth resorption and ulcerative stomatitis

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Beginning today, pet parents can turn to Farmers Insurance for help in caring for and planning for all members of the family, including their pets. Farmers, one of the nation’s largest multiline insurers, and Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC (Pets Best), a leading U.S. pet insurance brand, have joined forces to offer savings to those looking to insure cats and dogs. Pet parents who purchase a Pets Best policy after referral from a Farmers agent or at Farmers.com/petinsurance will receive a 5 percent discount off of the regular price.

FARMERS INSURANCE LOGO

With roughly 50 percent of U.S. households enjoying pet ownership, many families have sought a trusted partner to assist with their pet insurance needs. The Farmers and Pets Best agreement brings established and recognized brands to the pet insurance category. Since the establishment of the first pet insurance company in the U.S. in 1981, the desire for pet insurance has grown significantly and is now a $650 million industry. And, based on a recent poll, nearly three in ten Farmers customers with pets expressed interest in adding pet insurance to their existing policies.

“At Farmers, we believe in offering consumers options and that insuring your pet through respected brands like Farmers and Pets Best will be a welcomed choice,” said Mariel Devesa, head of product innovation for Farmers Insurance. “Our agreement with Pets Best will help pet parents care and plan for their cherished cats and dogs by limiting the risk of hefty out-of-pocket expenses and providing coverage for unexpected events.”

pets-best

Pets Best is known for creating a straightforward and predictable pet-care experience.  With four out of five pets experiencing a medical emergency in their lifetime, according to company data, having reliable coverage is critical.  The insurance provided through Farmers and Pets Best offers consumers a wide range of benefits and options, including: a reimbursement calculated from the actual veterinarian bill with knowledgeable experts who handle claims generally within two to five days. The comprehensive plans offered by Pets Best cover accidents and illness with flexible coverage options. In fact, Pets Best offers more plan options than any other competitor to ensure pet parents can choose the plan that best fits their needs, all while allowing customers to visit any licensed vet in the world. There are no upper age limits and the company does not require medical records or a vet exam to enroll. The Pets Best policies also cover unexpected out-of-pocket expenses for pets related to emergency visits, behavioral conditions, surgeries, hereditary conditions and more. Additionally, a wellness plan is available to provide coverage for routine veterinary expenses such as annual check-ups, vaccinations and teeth cleanings.

“A growing number of American pet owners are recognizing the financial and emotional benefits of insuring their four-legged family members,” said Jack Stephens, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, founder of Pets Best and the pet insurance industry in the U.S. “We are excited to have reached an agreement with an established company that cares as much about the community as Farmers Insurance, and we look forward to offering all of our customers our unique brand of service and support.”

For more information and tips about Farmers pet insurance offerings, visit Farmers.com/petinsurance or contact a local Farmers agent today.

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A visual inspection won’t cut it, regular oral care for small dogs is critical to prevent dental disease and to know when it strikes

A new study looking at oral care for small breed dogs may have dog owners thinking twice about their current oral care regime. The study, conducted by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and published in BMC Vet Research, examined the progression of periodontal disease in miniature schnauzers and found that without effective and frequent oral care, dental disease developed rapidly and advanced even more quickly with age.

Research Finds That Small Dogs Can't Go Without Their Toothbrushes

“We all want to do the very best for our pets’ health, and the study showed us that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to small dogs’ oral health,” said DrStephen Harris, leader of the oral care team at WALTHAM®, part of Mars Petcare. “The study findings help us better understand the way dental disease appears and progresses and underscores the importance of proper oral care, especially as our dogs age.”

To better understand the rate of dental disease progression, researchers replaced the regular oral care routines of miniature schnauzers with full mouth examinations. They found that, without regular oral care, the majority of dogs developed the early stages of periodontal disease within six months and dogs above the age of four developed periodontal disease even faster. The degree to which periodontal disease progressed varied based on the type of tooth and location on the tooth.

Furthermore, the study showed that periodontitis developed regardless of the visible signs of gingivitis, which had previously been believed to reliably precede it. Therefore while a visual inspection may be sufficient to detect a disease like gingivitis, it is not useful in detecting the onset of periodontitis and may not reveal the areas at greatest risk for dental disease.

“Some pet owners “lift-the-lip” and look at a dog’s gums to get a sense of its oral health, but this research shows they could be missing important early signs of dental disease,” said Dr Harris. “The findings should encourage all dog owners to establish an oral care routine that consists of regular tooth brushing supplemented with dental chews and veterinary checks. It’s important for all dogs, but we know that small dogs like miniature schnauzers are at an even higher risk of developing severe dental problems.”

About the Study: “A Longitudinal Assessment of Periodontal Disease in 52 Miniature Schnauzers”

WALTHAM conducted a study examining the rate of progression of periodontal disease in miniature schnauzers. Over the course of 60 weeks, full mouth examinations were conducted on 52 miniature schnauzers ranging in age between 1.3 and 6.9 years. Prior to the study, each dog had a regular oral care routine that included tooth brushing. This was suspended a week before the initial dental assessment. Of the 2,155 teeth examined, all entered the study with some level of gingivitis, while only 23 teeth entered with periodontitis. Every 6 weeks, levels of gingivitis and periodontitis were assessed around the whole surface of each individual tooth by measuring periodontal probing depth, gingival recession and furcation exposure. Teeth were assessed for the level of gingivitis (scored between 0 and 4) and periodontitis (PD1 – up to 25% attachment loss and PD2 – between 25 to 50% attachment loss). Teeth from only one dog in the study did not progress to periodontitis.

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Nestle Purina, a global leader in the pet care industry, announced today that company scientists have developed new food solutions for middle-aged pets to help sustain a healthier brain as they enter the latter stages of life. The finding is a breakthrough in pet care, providing nourishment to strengthen brain cells to help pets maintain function well into their senior years.

The solution, a new Brain Protection Blend™ (BPB), is a nutritional enrichment that targets metabolic changes and risk factors linked to brain aging. It is designed for pets to start consuming in middle age.  The BPB can help maintain cognitive functions, such as memory, social interaction and learning abilities, and can keep them as sharp as they can be as pets age.

purina-collie

Purina has developed a breakthrough in pet food solutions for middle-aged pets to help strengthen brain cells and maintain cognitive function well into their senior years.

“By taking a more proactive approach, we may be able to slow the brain’s decline often experienced among pets as they get older,” said Dan Smith, Nestle Purina’s vice president of research and development. “Humans understand the need for additional nutrients to live healthily, so it’s imperative that pet owners are aware of similar nutritional breakthroughs available for their pets that help slow the changes associated with aging.”

Purina scientists have found that the BPB can improve cognitive function – thinking abilities and memory – in cats between 5 – and 8-years old.[2] Plans call for the new BPB to be added to select Purina products for cats or dogs in the next 12-18 months. Purina is still evaluating the effects of the BPB on dogs, and hopes to eventually offer the solution to both species.

The BPB can be added to pet food and is comprised of a unique formulation including key ingredients such as fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and the essential amino acid, arginine.

“All of these nutrients may be present in the natural prey of cats and can be found in many types of foods,” said Dr. Yuanlong Pan, Purina senior research nutritionist and an author of the influential study on improving memory function in middle-aged cats. A study on the effects of the BPB on dogs is expected to be published soon.

The launch of the BPB is the second phase of Purina’s two-pronged approach to addressing cognitive decline in pets using extensive research techniques that focus on adding nutritional enhancements to pet food.

The first phase centered on developing a neuron-targeted nutrition with a blend of nutrients based on medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to improve memory function in senior dogs. Typically, cognitive decline is a slow and gradual process that begins in middle age and can be linked to a drop in brain glucose metabolism that occurs as dogs age. The outcome often results in memory loss, reduced social interaction, learning impairment and disorientation.

MCTs are nutrients sourced from vegetable oils such as coconut oil. A breakthrough diet blend containing MCTs is an innovative way to provide fuel to a pet’s brain. A research study confirmed significant improvements in behavior and cognition in as little as 30 days when senior dogs were fed diets with MCTs. Improvements were seen in attention span, trainability, decision making and overall cognitive function. Cognitive decline also occurs in cats and Purina is currently researching ways to include MCTs in cat food.

Cognitive Decline in Pets a Growing Concern

Some pet owners associate mobility problems to physical issues that come from old age without realizing that many of those issues actually stem from cognitive decline. This can result in pets forgetting how to perform normal functions such as using a litter box or finding a food bowl.

Studies have found 28 percent of dogs ages 11-12 years old and 68 percent of dogs ages 15-16 years old have one or more signs of mental issues.[3] Among cats, 28 percent of 11-14 year olds show signs of cognitive decline and increases to 50 percent when 15 years of age or older.[4]

According to an April 2014 survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and issued by Purina, more than 37 percent of dog owners have a dog older than seven.[5] This means a large group of pet owners may soon face issues related to their pet’s health due to cognitive decline. Unfortunately, 51 percent of dog owners are not aware that dogs can suffer from cognitive decline as a side effect of aging.

Purina is widening its focus to finding nutritional options that will strengthen pets’ cognitive abilities at a younger age and promote long-term brain health. Based on the April survey, 83 percent of dog owners would consider feeding their dog a premium food at a younger age if they could sustain brain health in the future.[6]

More than 400 Purina scientists, veterinarians and nutritionists a have been studying the effects of aging on pets since 1986, when Purina began the breakthrough “Lifespan Study” to look at canine diets. Since 2001, Purina researchers have studied the benefits of healthy nutrition on brain health in pets and in 2009 Purina was the first company to launch a MCT-based nutrient blend. Purina is also working on addressing other aging issues among pets including eye-care and weight management.

For more information, visit www.purina.com/innovation.

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Nearly one-in-five pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises according to recent survey findings. Because having the right information at your fingertips is key when the unthinkable happens, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has developed its first-ever interactive smart phone app to help pet parents find their lost animals. Developed by the ASPCA and utilizing the latest field research, the free tool provides users with an individual search plan based on their pet’s behavior and individual circumstances so they can search quickly and effectively to recover their lost pet.

“Whether your pet goes missing as a result of fireworks or a bad storm, the best, most proven tactics to recover that pet may not be as obvious as you might think,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research & development for the ASPCA. “When lost, a shy dog may behave very differently from a bolder, friendlier dog. And a gregarious cat may be found in a completely different location than an independent cat. Searching for your missing pet the right way is vital, and could make the difference between reuniting with your beloved pet and never seeing them again.”

The app – available for download starting today – will provide pet owners with a personalized recovery kit, ­ including step-by-step instructions on how to best search for and recover a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. Users will also be able to easily build a digital lost pet flyer that can be shared instantly on social media networks. In addition, the app provides news, tips and advice on ensuring a pet’s safety before, during and after a storm or natural disaster. It also allows owners to store their pet’s vital medical records ̶ shaving off precious minutes during an emergency.

You may think that it could never happen to you but in fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed who lost pets (64 percent) said they had never anticipated losing a pet the way they did. For the nearly one-in-five lost pets (19 percent) who went missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks or other loud outside noises, 70 percent of their owners were completely caught off guard that their pet was lost in that way.

Losing a pet is not only heartbreaking for a family, but also very dangerous for the animal, especially if the dog or cat ends up roaming busy streets. The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they don’t go missing in the first place: Double check leashes and collars and make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date. Be mindful when opening outside doors. Keep your cats inside if you can. And give your pets access to safe, quiet places during those very colorful, loud fireworks. And if the unthinkable does happen, the ASPCA app is there to help.

In developing the app’s lost pets tool, the ASPCA consulted with Missing Pet Partnership, one of the nation’s foremost experts in reuniting lost pets with their guardians.

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To ensure that the 4th of July holiday is a positive experience for everyone, Petco is sharing some simple ways to keep pets safe, drastically reduce their stress and lower their risk of running away.

thundershirt-dogs

ThunderShirt for Dogs

Here’s how you can help keep your pets comfortable during fireworks or other noisy activities:

  • Create a quiet place so pets have a restful room or area to retreat to. Firecrackers, loud party voices and booming music can make pets anxious.
  • Proactively attend Petco’s free Anxiety & Calming Seminar, which takes place at stores nationwide June 28-29, 2014 at 2 p.m. Pet parents will learn how to recognize their dog’s stress signals, learn techniques to help settle pets down and understand the importance of mental and physical exercise as ways to keep dogs calm.
  • Be sure all pets, including indoor cats, wear current ID tags. Clear identification can be a pet’s ticket back home.
  • If you haven’t had your pets microchipped yet, talk to your vet about this important form of identification.
  • Avoid taking pets to see fireworks. Secure all potential escape routes and leave them in a quiet, sheltered area. A television or radio left playing at a normal volume can be reassuring.
  • If it is necessary to be outside with dogs during fireworks, make sure each dog is secure on a leash and harness. Frightened dogs commonly manage to slip out of their collars, and harnesses allow pet parents to stay in full control.
  • Don’t leave dogs outside unattended. Even tethered pups will struggle to get away if startled by noise. Dogs who aren’t tethered may try to dig out of an enclosed yard.
  • Comfort pets with their favorite toy or blanket. Also, Thundershirts will dramatically help reduce the fear dogs and cats may experience. Hire a pet-sitter for the day or evening or ask a friend who knows the pet well to pay a visit.

thundershirt-cats

ThunderShirt for Cats

If bringing pets along for a July 4th road trip, consider the following precautions:

  • Always think safety first. Traveling with an unrestrained pet is not only dangerous for the pet and driver, but for every car on the road. Keep the pet comfortably restrained with an auto safety harness or in a traveling crate at all times. Be sure to secure the crate inside the vehicle to prevent it from tipping over.
  • Don’t allow dogs to stick their head out of open windows while driving.
  • Give smaller dogs a boost up to enjoy a clear view of the journey with the Petco Booster Seat.
  • Keep small animals safe by securing them in the vehicle in a proper carrier. The Caitec Perch N Go Bird Carrier and the Petco Pet Keeper for Small Animals both allow their passengers to be transported safely and comfortably while in the car and also acts as a safe habitat for them while they are out and about with their pet parent.

For more information on creating a safe and fun summer experience, please visit www.petco.com/summer.

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In the coming months, thousands of families will pile into their cars and vans and head down the road for their summer vacations—and many of these families will bring their pets along for the ride.

But traveling with pets can be risky for motorists and their furry (or scaly) passengers. Unrestrained pets in a moving motor vehicle can create a dangerous distraction to drivers. In the event of an accident or a sudden stop, pets can act as projectiles injuring passengers and themselves. And dogs and cats may jump out of car windows, causing other motorists to brake suddenly to avoid hitting them.

bark-buckle-up

“Pet owners often view their pets as part of the family and include them in their summer travel plans,” saidChristie Alderman, vice president of Chubb Personal Insurance. “But when it comes to safety, too many neglect to take steps to ensure the safety of their pets and themselves. Many vacationers also may be unaware that their four-legged passengers are not insured.”

Many states now require motorists to restrain their pets inside moving cars. Harnessing a dog or cat inside the car can help keep it from moving around the passenger area, which can be distracting to the driver. The harness may also keep a pet from jumping out the window. And, like seatbelts for human passengers, the harness can reduce the chance of injury to the pet and other passengers.

Eight out of 10 pet owners will travel with their pets on vacation this year, according to Bark Buckle UP, an organization that promotes pet safety. With the rise in the number of pet-friendly hotels and resorts, it is now easier than ever to include Fido in holiday plans.

“We understand the desire of families to bring their pets with them on vacation, which is why Chubb includes coverage for pets in its auto policies,” Alderman said. “Still, it’s better to keep Pookie in a safety device than on your lap while driving.”

Chubb offers up to $2,000 in coverage to automobile policyholders for pets injured or killed in a crash or other covered loss. The policy will help pay to treat, board or replace domestic pets, even if, like horses, they were pulled in trailers.

Other features of Chubb’s Masterpiece™ Auto Preference policy include: Agreed value coverage so policyholders know the settlement amount up front; up to $15,000 for loss of use, with no daily limit; use of original equipment manufacturer parts; the right to choose repair shops; and no depreciation on parts.

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At the American Veterinary Medical Association, we’ve heard the same excuses repeated again and again: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store.” Or, “But I cracked the windows open.” Or, “It wasn’t that warm outside.”

And yet, every year, the AVMA continues to hear the same story, over and over: Dogs left unattended in a car or truck, suffering in the rising temperatures, becoming sick and sometimes dying as a result. Seemingly responsible people do it. Police officers have done it. It makes the news. People are outraged. The story goes away. And it happens again.

It happened again in Phoenix yesterday, when a dog died after being left alone in a vehicle for over an hour while its owner went shopping. The temperature outside was 110 degrees; we can only imagine how hot it was inside the vehicle.

But it doesn’t have to be sweltering outside to make it dangerous to leave dogs inside a vehicle. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30 degrees, and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in a vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside the vehicle.

AVMA Pets in Cars

Even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you, a vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts pets at risk of serious illness and even death. Cracking the windows makes no difference. Only take your pets with you when it is absolutely necessary, and do not leave them in the vehicle.

The AVMA wants to put an end to these tragic stories. On its website, the AVMA has several resources, including videos, posters, and other information, to educate the public about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles. The AVMA encourages stores, malls, restaurants, and other businesses to place its posters in their windows to help get the message out: If you love your pets, sometimes it’s best to leave them at home.

Please help the AVMA spread the word that leaving pets in cars is unacceptable, and help prevent similar headlines from happening in the future.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 85,000 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. Visit www.avma.org for more information.

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With the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season bearing down on the Northeast, beginning June 1, Banfield Pet Hospital and American Humane Association will mobilize its new, 50-foot Red Star® emergency rescue vehicle to ensure pet owners and their pets are prepared to weather the storms ahead. As evidenced by the thousands of pets displaced in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, natural disasters and weather events can be a serious threat to pets that may become injured or lost in the destruction and chaos. Banfield Pet Hospital and the American Humane Association will embark on a tour of the Northeast, beginning at the Jersey Shore in Holmdel, N.J. on June 3, followed by Philadelphia on June 5 and ending in Washington D.C. on June 9, offering free emergency preparedness clinics for pet owners as well as tours of the Red Star truck.

Banfield Pet Hospital Emergency Preparedness Tour Schedule:

  • Tuesday, June 3 in Holmdel, N.J.
  • Thursday, June 5 in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Monday, June 9 in Washington D.C. (Alexandria)

2014 HURRICANE PREDICTIONS
As predicted by top forecasters at Colorado State University, the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, which spans June 1 through November 30, is expected to include nine tropical storms; of which, at least three are expected to develop into hurricanes[1].

“As a practice, Banfield strongly believes that preventive veterinary care is the best medicine,” said Dr. George Melillo, Northeast regional medical director for Banfield. “In the case of hurricanes and other natural disasters, preventive care comes in the form of preparation. Our veterinary professionals are excited to partner with American Humane Association and go on tour in key locations, raising awareness of the steps pet owners can take to prepare, and the services available to them to ensure the safety of pets during weather-related events.”

PET SAFETY STARTS WITH PREPARATION
During each tour stop, local pet owners will be invited to join veterinarians from Banfield Pet Hospital and the Red Star Emergency Services team from American Humane Association to learn helpful tips and tactics to ensure pets’ safety if ever displaced or lost in a disaster, as well as what to do in the case of an emergency or injury, including the following:

  • Getting pets microchipped is a must — it is the fastest way to be reunited with a pet should s/he become separated during a natural disaster. The first 25 attendees at each clinic will receive a voucher good for a free microchip for their pet.
  • Have a pet carrier or crate available for each pet in the family — familiarize pets with the crate ahead of time in case they need to be transported on short notice.
  • Create a small disaster kit for pets — include a week’s supply of food and water, medications, a leash and a toy.

Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to tour the newest member of American Humane Association’s rescue fleet, Red Star presented by Mars Petcare US, makers of Pedigree® Food for Dogs. The truck, which was unveiled late last year, is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services for pets and families throughout the Northeastern United States in times of disasters and will be staffed by four certified and specially-trained responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals, and bringing animal-assisted therapy to children and families. The vehicle, sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospital, Lois Pope and Zoetis, was dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire Northeast area.

“Red Star brings help and healing to those affected by tragedies, including major weather events,” said Justin L. Scally, national director of American Humane Association’s Red Star Emergency Services. “This new rescue vehicle is a major investment in the families, children and animals of the Northeast, and we’re eager to familiarize pet owners with the services we can provide while also helping to promote pet disaster preparedness.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014:
Banfield – Holmdel
2101 State Route 35
Holmdel, NJ 07733
10–10:30 a.m. clinic
10:30–12 p.m. tours and Q&A

Thursday, June 5, 2014:
Banfield – South Philadelphia
2360 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145-4122
10–10:30 a.m. clinic
10:30–12 p.m. tours and Q&A

Monday, June 9, 2014:
Banfield – Alexandria
3351 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Unit 10
Alexandria, VA 22305-3126
10–10:30 a.m. clinic
10:30–12 p.m. tours and Q&A

For more information about Banfield Pet Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Tour, visit http://www.banfield.com/emergencytips.

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In an effort to keep pets and pet parents active and safe this summer, Petco is providing tips and advice for letting pets join in on outdoor water activities while keeping their health and safety top of mind.

PETCO LOGO

Get There Safely: Heading to a water adventure is exciting, but take precautions to make sure pets arrive at the destination safely.

  • Use a dog seatbelt or a barrier to help keep them contained and comfortable while traveling in a vehicle.
  • Keep pets out of the front seat unless they are secured in a booster seat that won’t trigger the front airbag in the event of an accident.
  • Never leave pets alone in a car. If it is 78 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in just 30 minutes. Also, 14 states currently have laws that prohibit leaving dogs confined in a vehicle.

Life’s a Beach: Once you’ve arrived, a day at the beach, lake, river or pool can be a blast for both pets and pet parents. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure all ends well.

  • Not all dogs are strong swimmers. Equip them with a lifejacket designed for dogs, like the Petco Dog Flotation Vest, which will keep them safe and easy to spot in the water.
  • If a dog doesn’t take to the water right away, don’t force them. Let them get used to it at their own pace and always evaluate conditions such as rough seas and water currents before letting pets take a dip.
  • Be observant of changes in a pet’s behavior and appearance.  A dog’s normal temperature is about 101.5 and when a dog’s internal temperature reaches 105 or above, his or her life is in danger. When a dog’s tongue hangs from the side of its mouth and is weighted at the end, or they are panting excessively, this can indicate they are overheating.
  • Always carry enough water and a portable bowl to help keep them hydrated.
  • Much like people, the sun can burn a pet’s skin, especially white dogs or pink areas of a dog’s body where there is little to no fur. Be sure to apply a sun protectant like Petkin Sunwipes specially made for dogs at least 15 minutes before sun exposure and continue to reapply throughout the day.

Clean up Afterwards: Protect pet’s skin and coat after water activities.

  • Always make sure to give dogs a freshwater bath to rid them of dirt, sand or other irritants.
  • For those who don’t have time for a complete bath, using a pet wipe like Petco Grooming Wipes can quickly rid pets of toxins until there’s time for a proper bath.
  • Taking pets to a groomer regularly will also ensure they are thoroughly cleaned. As an added bonus, the Petco Grooming Salon even offers a shedless treatment, which will greatly reduce shedding, especially during the warm summer months.

For more information on how to include pets in all the summer water activities visit www.petco.com/summer.

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