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Fireworks: A Clear and Present Danger to Animals

Holidays, while celebrated by people, are never celebrated by animals. Whether it’s Halloween, New Year’s Eve or Canada Day, they mean only one thing: fireworks. Or simply put: NOISE!!! Whether sudden, intermittent bursts of noise and light or ongoing displays of sophisticated pyrotechnics, their effects can range from devastating to deadly for domesticated animals and wildlife alike. From cherished family cats and dogs to bears and birds, Canada geese, coyotes and deer, raccoons and wolves. The main source of their extreme discomfort is the deafening blasts emitted by the fireworks. And since most animals’ hearing is far more acute than humans (we can suffer hearing damage at only 75 decibels), with “explosions” as loud as 190 decibels, not only is...

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Holiday Hoopla and Doggy Health Hazards

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to think not only about celebrating, but also about dog safety.  To ensure that the season stays merry and bright, plan ahead and start early. Change the appearance of your home from everyday to holiday gradually, over a period of several weeks. This will allow your dog time to grow comfortable with everything from new or additional furniture and tabletop arrangements to wall and window decorations. To encourage your dog to view this as something positive, reinforce the sentiment by keeping him occupied with Kongs filled with cheese spread or peanut butter, or puzzle toys to puzzle over while you slowly transform the space around him. Maintain your dog’s normal feeding and walking schedules....

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Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs

One unforeseen consequence of legalizing marijuana may be an increased number of discarded butts or “roaches” along sidewalks and roads and throughout public spaces. People walking their dogs are advised to be on the alert for such toxic litter to ensure their pets don’t sniff out or ingest any of it.

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Helping Semi-Feral Cats Adjust to Life Indoors

While a good deal of time and patience is involved in helping semi-feral cats adjust to domesticity, nothing succeeds more than time and patience, and nothing is a more gratifying experience. Why? Because semi-feral cats who have acclimated well to their new lives are some of the most loving, affectionate and appreciative kitties around.  Interested? If so, consider the following five steps to help make your particular “wild child’s” adjustment to indoor living as smooth and swift as paws-ible. Prepare a “dedicated” cat room: When you bring your new cat home, ensure her room has such amenities as scratching posts, some toys, food, water and a litter box. Not only should her food bowl and litter box be on opposite...

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Puppy Proofing Is Not Just For Puppies

A puppy-proofed home is a pet-safe home whatever the age of your new dog. Before that first front paw crosses your threshold for the first time, your home must be a health zone, not a hazard zone. Begin the process of pet-proofing by walking through your home, room by room, searching methodically for things a dog might climb, knock over or pull down, and either secure, remove or store them. Keep all trashcans behind closed and latched doors and wastebaskets (covered if possible) out of sight. Ensure that all heating/air vents have covers. Snap specially designed plastic caps over electrical outlets. Tie electrical cords together and tuck them out of reach. Install childproof latches to keep inquisitive paws from prying...

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